DUBAI - HospitalityUnited.Club, a consortium of travel technology companies, in partnership with RateTiger and LiveOS has published an infographic ebook titled ‘Middle East Travel Trends’ - highlighting key travel metrics and indicators in the region. Despite the ongoing turmoil, Middle East is on the course of recovery led by GCC countries, with Dubai retaining its lead position as the travel and business hub.
While three countries, namely Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt still occupy the largest share of the travel pie, with 7 out of 10 travelers visiting them, the demography of the travelers are vastly different.
The ebook shows that even though online booking is growing fast, Middle Eastern travelers still largely refer booking through travel and tour operators. Interestingly, even for offline bookers, over 40% of them do their research and planning online. The online booking space is largely dominated by OTAs with over 75% market share. The region, with high mobile penetration is also adapting to mobile booking quicker than matured online markets like Europe and America.
The average Middle East traveler has a clear preference for luxury with Gulf countries’ nationals spending 4 times more than the global average. The demand for luxury also propelled hotel supply in the region. 26% of total hotel pipeline are for the luxury segment. While local luxury brands are making a mark, over 95% of luxury properties are operated by International Hotel Groups.