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Dust off the Burkini – Travelzoo Research Points to Growing Interest in Travel to the Middle East

Travelzoo, the UK's top travel and entertainment deals provider, has polled its 6.8 million subscribers across the UK, Germany, France and Spain to discover how travellers feel about holidaying in the Middle East. The results show that whilst well-known destinations such as Egypt’s Red Sea resorts and Dubai continue to attract the most visitors, Israel, Jordan and Abu Dhabi are catching up as must see destinations within the region.

Overall British people and visitors from across the EU are returning home with very positive experiences having visited the region; 70% of Brits are hoping to return for another holiday and the same percentage are happy to recommend a holiday in the Middle East to friends and family.

Nearly a third of respondents would like to visit the region in the next 12-18 months, however interestingly 83% of people said their travel agent has never suggested holidaying in a Middle East destination. 

As a nation of sunseekers keen to leave our inclement weather behind, it comes as no surprise to learn that the number one reason to consider holidaying in the Middle East for Brits is the good weather – with sun, sea and sand topping the list of interests for the UK visitor.  Cultural experiences are the second most important consideration. 

Changing dress and behaviour on holiday is clearly not a significant barrier for potential visitors either. Nearly 80% of British women said they would feel obliged to alter their normal attire to adhere to cultural norms, however the majority (62%) said this would not put them off travelling there.

Travelzoo’s European managing director, Richard Singer said, “The Middle East offers the UK visitor a fantastic range of holiday experiences and guaranteed sunshine when much of Europe is still struggling to reach temperatures in double-digits.  Once visited, this is a region people clearly fall in love with and it’s great to see that UK travellers are feeling confident about visiting some of the lesser-known destinations as well as traditional favourites such as Dubai and Egypt’s Red Sea area.

“It is also good news that British travellers in particular aren’t put off by media coverage of political situations in the Middle East very much see it as a family destination and would recommend the region to their friends.  At Travelzoo we continue to see huge interest in our deals to Sharm el-Sheikh and Dubai and we’ll now be seeking the best deals in the market for Jordan, Oman and Abu Dhabi as clearly there is great interest in travelling further afield.”

The survey also found that 72% of UK travellers consider the Middle East a family-friendly destination and Brits are less put off by political unrest when compared to other EU countries. More than half of those who said they didn't want to travel to the Middle East said it was due to the region not being of interest to them, whereas German and French travellers say political unrest is their number one reason to not visit. Spanish consumers feel the Middle East is too expensive.

Since conducting the survey Travelzoo Deal Experts have found a 5-star 5-night deal to lesser-known Ajman in the UAE and have launched a special promotion for deals to Dubai in partnership with the Dubai Tourism Board. 

Source: Travelzoo Middle East survey, April, 2014.  Results based on answers from 3440 Travelzoo members from the UK, Spain, France and Germany.


Visit Travelzoo for further information.


Notes to editors

Travelzoo defines the Middle East as Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates (excluding Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and Yemen.

Click here to see Travelzoo’s special promotion for deals to Dubai. 


About Travelzoo

Travelzoo is a global media commerce company. With more than 28 million members in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific and 26 offices worldwide, Travelzoo® publishes offers from more than 2,000 travel, entertainment and local companies. Travelzoo’s deal experts review offers to find the best deals and confirm their true value.

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