Gulf region hotels eyeing Indian millennials
Indian millennial tourists are opting for a little and often approach when it comes to traveling, according to a recent survey, urging GCC hoteliers and travel professionals, who will undoubtedly use Arabian Travel Market 2018 as a platform to showcase their facilities and promotional offers, in an attempt to capture a share of this multi-million visitor, market niche.
The leading regional travel and tourism event, which will be held at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25 2018, has been referring to a recent survey, from Indian online travel portal Yatra.com, which revealed that out of 1,592 respondents, 66% said they would only be planning to travel for just seven days or less, at a time, but they would however, travel more frequently. Interestingly, 43% of those surveyed were millennials.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said: “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, being in such close proximity to their Indian neighbour. 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.”
Currently there are 18 daily direct flights from Mumbai to Dubai, 11 to Abu Dhabi, six to Oman, four to Kuwait, three to Riyadh and two each to Jeddah and Bahrain. Dubai, in particular, was revealed in the survey as a prime destination for Indian travelers – in the first nine months of 2017 there were 1.478 million Indian visitors to the emirate, an increase of 20% from the corresponding period in 2016.
The survey also revealed that, while some were prepared to spend over AED2,845 on a trip, the preferred choice of accommodation remains budget hotels, a segment that the tourist boards around the region are now focused on, along with mid-market hotels, as the luxury market becomes increasingly saturated and regional governments look to broaden their tourism appeal.
Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said: “India has been a key market for us, as we continue to welcome visitors, especially millennials and entrepreneurs, on short and long-haul stays in our properties. The findings of the survey will further energise the UAE’s hospitality sector to diversify their offering – as we do at Emaar Hospitality Group – to offer unique choices that appeal to the young travelers.
“Our brands Vida Hotels and Resorts and Rove Hotels in particular are preferred by millennial travellers from India, and we are also focused on expanding our footprint in the country, as we enjoy strong brand recognition in this important and fast-growing market. ATM is a key platform for us, and we will use the findings of the survey to showcase our strengths.”
India is also a popular short getaway destination for GCC residents, especially during Eid breaks and New Year celebrations. That demand was evident at ATM 2017, when there was a 45% increase in sharers on the India stand, including two regional tourism boards, and another strong contingent is expected at ATM 2018.
ATM 2018 has adopted Responsible Tourism as its main theme and this will be integrated across all show verticals and activities, including focused seminar session, featuring dedicated exhibitor participation.
ATM – considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed almost 40,000 travel professionals to its 2017 event, including 2,661 exhibiting companies, signing business deals worth more than $2.5 billion over the four-day show.
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 next 25.