Tourism Industry News
UAE Expects Fewer Traveler in 2009
According to the findings from YouGov Siraj’s Travel Tracker update, a research tool which tracks travel trends quarterly, the amount people are flying from the UAE remained stable in 2008 compared to 2007 but this falls far short of how much they had been expecting to travel. In October 2008, around half of business and leisure travelers were expecting to see an increase in travel.
The global credit crisis has affected UAE resident’s attitudes towards how much they believe they will travel over the next year. UAE travelers are currently expecting to fly less in the future than they were three months ago. In October 2008, 10 percent and 9 percent of leisure and business travelers were expecting a decrease, now that figure as risen to 32 percent and 33 percent respectively.
“In just 3 months attitudes have shifted dramatically. What we are seeing is that travelers haven’t yet changed their travel behavior but they are starting to panic about the future. With increased nervousness about job security people now believe they will travel much less. The fact remains that people are still flying but airlines need to work harder to encourage them onto their planes. Research like this is required more than ever to help travel companies survive in this time of crisis” says Jane Wilson, Director, Travel & Tourism Research at YouGovSiraj.
Economy, traditionally the main choice of class for both business and leisure travelers, is expected to be used even more. As much as 12 percent more business travelers are expecting to fly economy than in October 2008, while 7 percent more of leisure travelers will shift to economy class.
Three months ago, the majority of business travelers were expecting to see an increase in budgets over the next year. Now that attitude has almost reversed with 42 percent expecting to see a decrease.
In order to keep costs down, UAE residents plan to spend their next holiday closer to their country of residence. This means there may be an increase in travel in the region. This finding comes from another of YouGovSiraj syndicated research tools, Reality Check – UAE, a survey amongst 725 consumers in December 2008.
YouGovSiraj’s ‘Reality Check – UAE’ also shows that UAE residents do believe the economic situation will improve but are bracing themselves for the long-haul. When asked how the economic situation will change in the future, the majority, 67 percent of respondents believe it will take two years or more for improvements to be felt.