Data released by YouGov's 2014 annual Travel Oracle has inspired a technology focus at the next Arabian Travel Market (ATM) being held from 4-7 May this year.
In the 22nd edition of ATM, for which YouGov is the exclusive research partner, tech savvy travellers will be the center of attention as over 20,000 delegates are expected to fly into Dubai from around the world to discuss a range of themes affecting the travel industry.
In 2014, for the fourth year running, YouGov interviewed 22, 686 travel consumers from its online panel to understand habits and attitudes towards travel and tourism from residents across the Middle East and North Africa region.
The latest findings from this annual syndicated study reveal that online travel bookings have risen by 10 % across the region since 2013. Of those surveyed, 25% said they use a smartphone to book hotels online, while mobile usage to access online travel guides or to book leisure activities has risen by 6%.
In addition, it appears the use of technology in travel has sparked an increase in travel spontaneity, which rose by 11% according to consumers YouGov interviewed last year. Nadege Noblet, Exhibition Manager of the Arabian Travel Market, commented, “Throughout the region we are witnessing major growth in online bookings as airlines, tour operators and hotels develop ever-more sophisticated digital platforms and social media strategies to ensure they reach out effectively to both existing and potential guests.”
According to a Viacom report, the Middle East’s Gen Y population (those aged 18-30 who make up a significant proportion of residents in the Arab world) is more internet reliant than any other region. The report states that four out of five stay connected wherever they are.
YouGov’s insight found that 68% of residents in the MENA region said they take their smartphone on holiday with them, 40% take a laptop and 22% take a tablet. When it comes to why these electronic devices are used on holiday, respondents stated they use their smartphone to keep up to date with friends and family and listen to music. A laptop is the most popular choice to buy tickets for local activities and research what to do at their destination, whereas tablets are used by the majority to read books and reviews of activities at their destination.
ATM confirmed this week that Paul Richer, senior partner of travel technology consultancy, Genesys, will host two dedicated seminar sessions at this year’s exhibition addressing a range of topics including latest developments in mobile, digital marketing and digital distribution issues and how these are impacting the consumer. The panel-led discussions which focus on how Gulf destinations can better utilise technology, as well as outline the latest trends and best ways of meeting the needs of the tech-savvy traveller.
The technology theme is only part of a packed agenda being developed for ATM 2015. Other highlights include budget travel, health & wellbeing, shopping, transportation, culture & heritage, luxury, sports and adventure. YouGov’s Travel & Tourism Research Director Scott Booth will be presenting findings from the Travel Oracle with a specific focus on behavioral needs related to family travel.
Express your interest in the 2015 YouGov Travel Oracle
The YouGov Travel Oracle will be running again between August and September 2015. To register your interest in an exclusive preview of the very latest findings, please contact Antonia Stockwell at email@example.com