DMS reveals key MENA travel trends post-Covid

Digital Media Services (DMS), the digital arm of Choueiri Group, has revealed key travel trends post-Covid in the MENA region.

“With Covid related travel restrictions easing-up around the globe, Arab travelers are once again taking to the skies to explore their dreams, aspirations and newfound destinations. However, they are doing so with new mindsets, motivations, along with redefined values and behaviors based on entirely new ways of thinking,” said DMS about their research.

DMS identified these new mindsets and sentiments from a research sample of 3000 Arab consumers located in key MENA regions, KSA, UAE, Egypt and Jordan. The data collection took place during the first quarter of 2022.

The research study’s key findings include:

• Consumers’ feelings surrounding post-covid travel

Out of the top five sentiments about post-covid travel, four were on the positive side. 34 per cent of respondents felt optimistic about post-covid travel, while 27 per cent felt worried. Followed by calm, confidence and at peace sentiments at 26, 23 and 23 per cent, respectively.

Currently, 58 per cent of Arab consumers are less concerned and have already started travelling, while the remaining 42 per cent are still concerned and are reluctant to travel anytime soon.

• Preferred destinations and vital considerations while planning travel

Most people in the post-covid world travel for leisure purposes with 65 per cent of respondents travelling for only leisure and 12 per cent for business and travel purposes. Only 23 per cent travelled solely for business purposes.

The respondents’ most preferred destinations for leisure across international and regional areas are Europe with 51 per cent responses and UAE with 41 per cent responses. Asia and USA are the next most preferred international destinations. In the region, UAE is followed by Egypt and KSA in terms of trips.

Budgets are the number one factor taken into consideration for trips ahead according to 56 per cent of respondents, ahead of covid-related factors. However, consumers who are still reluctant to travel take covid related factors into consideration. Consumers who are ready to travel look into the type of activities that can be availed in the destination country.

• The most significant changes in traveller behaviours

64 per cent of travellers now consider hotels more than other accommodations and 68 per cent are interested in less crowded destinations and smaller cities.

There is a greater reliance on technology to maintain less contact with 67 per cent of the respondents preferring to book online more than before and 59 per cent avoiding the usage of cash during their trip.

50 per cent of travellers hold their plans till the last moment to avoid cancellations.

The study also inspected Arab consumers’ plans to travel to UAE and KSA. 84 per cent of the 41 per cent travelling to UAE are planning to visit Dubai. Shopping and visiting the beach are the top reasons for considering UAE as a destination.

Travellers in the region don’t consider Saudi Arabia to be a touristic destination. 88 per cent of respondents cited religious tourism and pilgrimage as a reason to visit KSA and 76 per cent visiting Mekka.

View the full report and further insights here