London,
08
May
2014
|
13:05
Europe/Berlin

Word of Mouth Key to Attract European Travellers to Middle East

- Travelzoo’s Richard Singer Delivers Keynote Speech at Arabian Travel Market 2014 -

Travelzoo, the UK’s top provider of travel and entertainment deals, today unveiled findings from a survey of the company’s 6.9 million members across Europe, who were asked to provide their views on the attractiveness of the Middle East as a tourism destination.  The company’s European Managing Director, Richard Singer, presented the findings today in the keynote speech at the 2014 Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. 

The research revealed that concerns about safety, political unrest and cultural differences continue to mar the image of countries in the Middle East, but that those who have visited have had an overwhelmingly positive experience.  Over 70% of UK respondents said they would like to return to the region for another holiday in the next 12-18 months.  The same percentage of British people said they would definitely recommend the Middle East to friends and family.  Across Germany and Spain the ‘feel-good factor’ continued, with 83% of Spanish respondents and 70% of Germans saying they would recommend the region to family and friends.

Travel agencies could benefit from recommending the Arabian Peninsula to consumers across Europe – 76% of respondents said their travel agent had never suggested the region to them as an option for a leisure break despite nearly 60% of consumers saying they would prefer to book via them. This number is even higher in the UK, where 83% of people said their agent had never suggested a holiday in this area. 

In terms of getting inspiration and ideas about travel to the Middle East 63% of respondents across Europe said they would look at online travel websites such as Travelzoo, Expedia and Trivago for ideas.

Singer said, “The Middle East offers the European 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, the Middle East is a region people clearly fall in love with.  Tourism boards in the region would be wise to harness the influence of these returning holidaymakers and tap into their eagerness to return and share their positive experiences with fellow and potential future travellers.”

The survey was conducted with Travelzoo members in the UK, Germany, France and Spain,* and showed that of these nations, Germans made up the largest number of visitors to the Middle Eastern region, with 45% of Germans having already visited compared to 38% of British respondents.

Dubai, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Abu Dhabi are the most popular destinations for British travellers and this pattern was mirrored across the other European nations participating in the survey.

For those yet to visit the Middle East, Dubai tops the wish-list, with 43% of European respondents saying it is the destination in the region they would be most interested in visiting. In the UK the figure is even higher with over 60% of respondents saying they would like to holiday in Dubai.

Other survey findings from the UK respondents:

  • A combination of sun, sea and sand, as well as cultural experiences, are what British travellers seek most from a holiday in the Middle East
  • One in four respondents stated they would look for a twin-centre break as part of a trip to the Middle East
  • Over a quarter of people would seek a city-break experience
  • Shopping or desert safari came in joint fourth with 19% of those polled seeking these experiences when in the Middle East

Singer concluded, “It’s great that the Middle East – Dubai, Egypt and Jordan in particular – has proven to be of great interest to our members across Europe.  However, there is still work to be done to explain to consumers what the region has to offer. 

“Across Europe, the Canary Islands still hold the crown as the top winter-sun destination within the short-to medium-haul space, but there is huge potential for the Middle East nations to zone in on the appetite for winter sun and attract many more visitors from the UK, Germany, France and Spain.  Travel agents and operators across Europe also have a lot to gain by tapping in to the very real interest in travel to the Middle East.”

To view Travelzoo’s video on the European findings from the Middle East Perception Survey click here.

- ENDS -

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*The Travelzoo Middle East Perception Survey was conducted in April 2014 using QuestionPro software and was completed by 3440 Travelzoo members across the UK, Germany, France and Spain.

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