Indian millennials love short breaks
More than 50 per cent of survey respondents plan to travel for just seven days or less at a time
Hotels across the GCC are strengthening their offerings for Indian millennials who prefer to spend a week or less at a budget or mid-market hotel when they travel.
The results of a survey by Indian online travel portal Yatra.com revealed that more than 50 per cent of respondents plan to travel for just seven days or less at a time. However, they also expressed their desire to travel more frequently. The survey also revealed that while some were prepared to spend over Dh2,845 on a trip, the preferred choice of accommodation remains budget hotels, a segment that tourist boards around the region are now focused on, along with mid-market hotels. The luxury market has become increasingly saturated and regional governments are looking to broaden their tourism appeal.
Around nine million Indians are expected to travel to the GCC by 2021, according to the latest figures from Colliers International.
Reports from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) suggest the outbound Indian travel market will grow to 50 million by 2021, with the average spend per trip by Indian travellers also increasing. UNWTO statistics reveal India is among the top 12 source markets globally that showed double digit growth in expenditure in 2016 - visitor spend reached a total of $23.1 billion in 2016, up 15.1 per cent year on year.
"There are more than 400 million millennials in India. In terms of short break deals and offers, this is sure to alert travel professionals and hoteliers throughout the GCC. The travel time from Mumbai to Dubai, in particular, is just over three hours, and from Mumbai to Muscat, just under three hours, putting both cities on the radar as prime short break destinations," said Simon Press, senior exhibition director of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) exhibition.
Dubai, in particular, was revealed in the survey as a prime destination for Indian travellers - in the first nine months of 2017, there were 1.478 million Indian visitors to the emirate, an increase of 20 per cent from the corresponding period in 2016.
Haitham Mattar, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said the Indian market will be an important contributor as part of the agency's vision to attract one million visitors to Ras Al Khaimah by the end of 2018. "We have seen a growing trend from Indian inbound tourism for short leisure stays, Mice and in the wedding sector. The outbound wedding business from India was estimated at $40 billion last year, and we are well-positioned to tap into this segment."
Olivier Harnisch, CEO of Emaar Hospitality Group, said India has been a key market for the group. "Our brands Vida Hotels and Resorts and Rove Hotels in particular are preferred by millennial travellers from India. We are also focused on expanding our footprint in the country as we enjoy strong brand recognition in this important and fast-growing market. The ATM is a key platform for us and we will use the findings of the survey to showcase our strengths."
Celebrating its 25th year, ATM 2018 will build on the success of this year's edition, with a host of seminar sessions looking back over the last 25 years and how the hospitality industry in the Mena region is expected to shape up over the coming years. ATM 2018 has adopted 'Responsible Tourism' as its main theme.