Top UAE travel trends revealed: 90% flyers eye more sustainable holiday options, says survey

More people are looking for experiential trips, too, according to industry experts

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Fri 5 May 2023, 12:26 PM

Last updated: Sat 6 May 2023, 4:03 PM

Ninety per cent of travellers from the UAE want to fly 'more sustainably' over the next 12 monthes, a new survey has revealed.

Insights gathered more than 33,000 travellers across 35 countries and territories show a sharper focus on conscious choices, according to popular travel website Booking.com.


In fact, more than 50 per cent of today’s travellers would be willing to pay more for options with a sustainable certification, dialling up their spending to feel reassured they are driving impact.

“While travel may be back, climate anxiety has led to greater demand for more budget and planet-friendly options,” said Carlo Olejniczak, VP and managing director of Booking.com for Emea. “Travel can be a force for good and travellers themselves are proving to be today’s change-makers, adopting more sustainable travel habits and seeking responsible experiences.”


More people are looking for experiential holidays, too, according to travel industry experts.

“Post-Covid, we have seen that tourists want to have a more experiential, more immersive holiday,” said Rohan Khaunte, Minister for Tourism for the government of Goa. “People want to have experiences. Tourists have changed the way they are viewing holidays.”

Uptick in visitors at conservation park

One of those who have seen an uptick in business due to this changed preference is Taman Safari Indonesia (TSI), whose representatives were recently in Dubai to attend the Arabian Travel Market.

The park spread over more than 500 hectares is one of the largest conservation projects in Asia and houses over 1,700 animals from 400 species around the world, including endangered ones.

According to Alexander Zulkarnain, vice-president for media and event at TSI Group, the six parks operated by the group are very popular among Middle Eastern tourists and play a leading role in supporting Indonesia's tourism industry.

Combining conservation, research, education, and entertainment, TSI is attracting a lot of visitors from the GCC region.

“We have a good influx of tourists, especially from the UAE, across a wide category of guests including families, couples, and groups of friends,” he said. “People have a keen interest in experiencing everything that the park has to offer and are staying for longer.”

Luxurious travel

People around the world are also travelling more since the Covid-19 pandemic. “Earlier, people used to think that they would travel someday,” said Namrata Bhatia, marketing director at Holiday Factory. “The pandemic taught people not to take things for granted. So now, travel is a priority, and more people are choosing to do it today rather than someday.”

Keeping in line with people’s changing priorities, Holiday Factory, known for its low-cost travels, recently launched its premium services.

According to the company’s research, one-third of their customers are looking for premium holidays and all-inclusive packages at an economical price.

“We have seen a huge shift in the consumer market, especially in the luxury segment,” said Namrata. “People are no longer looking for ‘cut down the cost’ way of travelling. They are looking for a very premium experience even in a low-cost travel destination like Georgia.”

According to Namrata, the most popular destinations among Holiday Factory’s clients are Switzerland, the Maldives, and Italy. “People also want to go to unexplored places like Zanzibar in Africa and so on,” she said.

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