Although global travel demand is likely to remain soft for the rest of the year, UAE residents appear more eager than most to return to the skies.
UAE residents are more likely than any other global consumers to travel abroad for leisure in the next 12 months, according to research by YouGov.
Using YouGov Global Travel Profiles, a daily survey that runs in 25 countries, the report examined global travel demand, concerns and motivations of 185,000 respondents in 25 countries. The survey found that only 18% of respondents intended to travel internationally within the next 12 months.
UAE and Saudi Arabia bucked the trend with 58 percent and 48 percent, respectively, saying they plan to take an international trip in the next 12 months.
Furthermore, both groups said they were more likely to take an international trip than a domestic one, which was also at odds with the sentiment expressed in most other markets. On the other hand, only 4 percent of Japanese respondents indicated that they would take an international trip in the next year.
Furthermore, respondents in the Middle East and Africa expressed a higher likelihood of traveling on business in the coming year, with 18% saying they would do so, compared to only 6% of respondents in Europe.
It also examined the main reasons people do not travel. As expected, health risks emerged as the top concern among global respondents, followed by travel restrictions. The main concern cited in Saudi Arabia was health, while in the UAE, travel restrictions and health concerns were seen as equal barriers, with 45 per cent of respondents selecting each as their main obstacle to travelling. One third of respondents in the UAE cited the cost of travel as a determinant of their decisions.
‘As we move into a post-Covid world, it is evident that many people are broadening their horizons and want to travel – both domestically and internationally,’ said Eva Stewart, global sector head of travel and tourism at YouGov. ‘However, the picture is nuanced both between countries and within markets. It is crucial for the industry to be able to offer the best service to consumers looking to travel and where they would like to go.’