KEY TRAVEL TRENDS IN THE MIDDLE EAST REVEALED IN AMADEUS FORECAST REPORT
Amadeus’ latest global report, ‘Shaping the Future of Travel - Macro trends driving industry growth over the next decade’, which was unveiled at Arabian Travel Market, shows that the global travel industry has rebounded rapidly from the 2009 financial crises and is poised for a period of sustained growth over the next decade, specifically in the Middle East.
According to the research, overnight visitor flows are expected to grow at 5.4% per annum over the next decade worldwide, significantly faster than GDP growth at 3.4 per cent. However, the Middle East and Africa region is expected to witness even higher growth, at an annual rate of 11.9%, faster than the 8.4 % growth registered over the previous 10-year period.
Antoine Medawar, Vice President, Amadeus MENA, said: “It is encouraging to see such a positive forecast for our region. We can all feel optimistic from the signs of growth in the travel sector across most countries in the region, which is certain to have a halo effect on overall GDP.”
Written by Oxford economics, the Amadeus-commissioned report forecasts a 7.6% growth in outbound travel spend for the Middle East and Africa over the next ten years, ahead of Europe and the Americas but behind the substantial 17.9% growth in Asia. The Gulf region, due to its geographical position and growth plans of its main international airlines and hub airports is set to benefit from this ‘Asian effect’.
Citing figures 2009 - 2013, the report highlights the 78.6% growth in long-haul transfer passenger numbers through the Middle East, compared to a rise of 20.1% in Asia, 10% in Europe and 7.7% in North America.
According to Antoine Medawar, vice president MENA for Amadeus said the relative scale of growth was very impressive. “Point to point traffic may be growing, but at the same time, airports are competing to be regional hubs,” he said. “Hub airports in the Middle East have profited from their strategic location between Asia, Africa, and Europe in attracting long-haul transfer passengers, with Dubai airport leading the pack.”
Other figures in the report charted the growth of passenger traffic between regions from 2009 to 2013, with Middle East/Africa to Asia Pacific routes up 33.09%.
Tara Basrur, APCO
+971-55 302 7389
SHARJAH EXPO UNVEILS PLANS FOR ON-SITE HOTEL TO SERVE VISITORS
A 200-room Novotel will open in Q1 2017, adjacent to Sharjah Expo, becoming the official business hotel for the exhibition site.
Disclosing details of the property during Arabian Travel Market, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi said that Novotel Sharjah Expo would have standard rooms, club floor rooms, executive suites and a business centre with workstations and a small meeting room, a large meeting/function room of around 200 sq m.
Designed to fulfil the requirements of the increasing number of visitors to the Expo Centre, the hotel will also target leisure travellers offering a location with easy access to the family leisure areas in Sharjah.
According to Mohammed Ali Al Noman, chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), said the Novotel Sharjah Expo marked a new milestone for business and MICE tourism in the emirate of Sharjah.
“Sharjah has been working hard to establish its importance as a MICE destination and this is a solid and new cornerstone to help propel our world-class conferences and events forward,” said Noman.
Hares Shehab, Havas PR
+971 4 455 6150
HUNGARY ATTENDS ARABIAN TRAVEL MARKET TO RAISE AWARENESS OF CAPITAL, CULTURE, HEALTH TOURISM AND MICE FACILITIES
Acknowledging the fact it is not a well-known destination among the travel trade and consumers in the Middle East, a delegation from Hungarian Tourism has launched a new marketing initiative at Arabian Travel Market this week to fuel visitor growth from the region.
According to Mr Gergely Horváth, CEO of Hungarian Tourism the Middle East market has been a growing and increasingly important source market of visitors to Hungary over the past couple of years: “We see positive signs to suggest that this trend will continue and expect a further increase in visitors from the region in 2014,” he said, citing the organisation’s proactive strategy of engagement with the regional travel trade, airlines and agents.
As part of this tourism development strategy, Hungarian Tourism will now focus its marketing efforts on highlighting destination and niche markets that target specific consumer segments, he added with health tourism, MICE, the city of Budapest and Hungary as a honeymoon destination be highlighted with a focus on the comparative high-quality experiences Hungary can provide within these niche travel segments.
For health tourism, cosmetic procedures and spas at the country’s clinics and hospitals have been promoted at ATM along with Hungary’s traditional medicinal water therapies, alongside value-for-money MICE facilities and the 5,000 room inventory of first class and luxury accommodation
Hafsa Israr, AVIAREPS
+971 50 285 6584
EMIRATES RENEWS SUPPORT FOR THE SEYCHELLES
During Arabian Travel Market this week, Emirates has renewed its support for the Seychelles by extending a “Memorandum of Understanding” which unites the two in jointly promoting the destination throughout the airline’s network.
Under the agreement, Emirates has committed to working towards increasing the visibility of the destination with its agents, customers and media and to work with the Seychelles Tourism Board to support its promotional events and campaigns.
+971-50 950 8152
WELLNESS SECTOR BOOST FOR MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA
Highlighting the growth potential of the regional wellness tourism market at Arabian Travel Market, the Global Wellness Tourism Congress has released data demonstrating that, while the Middle East and Africa is currently the smallest global wellness travel market, it is potentially the fastest growing market.
Currently growth in the Middle East/North Africa region is 16.2% annually, according to the research undertaken by SRI International for GWTC, with the sector expected to be valued at US$16.6bn by 2017.
Other figures suggest the UAE will demonstrate the fastest growth of any country in the Middle East/Africa region at 17.9% – giving it a ranking of sixth worldwide.
The global wellness tourism market is estimated at $439bn, and rising at approximately 50 per cent faster than the tourism sector overall, according to the GWTC.
Presenting the findings at ATM, Anni Hood, tourism and government liaison for GWTC said wellness-focused travel was growing fast across the region: “We have a luxury/spa hotel building boom across the GCC nations and the revitalization of indigenous practices such as hammam and baths – while Africa is tourism’s next frontier with the rise of healthy adventure safari tourism, continued growth of spa/wellness resorts and emerging destinations.”
Among other findings in the report: the Middle East/North African region drives 4.8 wellness-focused trips annually, both inbound and domestic; the UAE generates 800,000 trips related to the sector with an expenditure of $1.4bn, with a similar number of trips in Morocco and Egypt.
+1 213 300 0107
REBRANDING FOR LE MERIDIEN DUBAI
A new name has been announced during Arabian Travel Market for Le Méridien Dubai following completion of new rooms and meeting facilities at the hotel – it is now officially Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre.
A multi-million dollar expansion has included a new extension to house Le Royal Club as well as an expanded 2,500 sq m Grand Ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,500 guests and six new meeting venues, bringing the total to 21.
Le Royal Club offers rooms claimed as among the largest in the city, private check-in lounge and outdoor pool as well as afternoon tea and cocktails in the exclusive Le Royal Club annex.
Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre has also become one of the first hotels in the region to have an in-house medi spa facility.
+971-50 452 0630