While demand for global travel is expected to remain soft for the rest of the year, UAE residents appear more eager than most to take flight again.
A new survey from YouGov reveals that UAE residents are more likely than any other global consumers to travel abroad for leisure in the next 12 months.
Using YouGov Global Travel Profiles, a daily survey that runs in 25 countries, the report investigated global travel demand, as well as the concerns and motivations of about 185,000 respondents from 25 markets around the world.
Only 18 per cent of those surveyed said they were planning an international holiday in the next 12 months.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia bucked the trend, with 58 per cent of respondents in the UAE and 48 per cent in Saudi Arabia saying they planned to take at least one international trip in the next year.
In both instances, respondents also said they were more likely to take an international trip than a domestic one, which also went against the sentiments expressed in most other markets. At the other end of the spectrum, only 4 per cent of those surveyed in Japan said they had any intention of taking an international trip in the next 12 months.
People in the region also expressed a greater willingness to travel for business, with 18 per cent of respondents in the Middle East and Africa saying they were likely to travel for that reason in the coming year, compared to 6 per cent of European respondents.
The report also looked at the primary factors preventing people from travelling. As is to be expected, health risks emerged as the main concern among global respondents, followed by travel restrictions.
In Saudi Arabia, health concerns were cited as the main concern, while in the UAE, travel restrictions and health concerns were seen as equal barriers, with 45 per cent of respondents selecting each of these as their main barrier for travelling. A third of respondents in the UAE also said the price of travelling has an impact on their decisions.
"As we move into a post-Covid world, it is clear that many people are broadening their horizons and want to travel – both domestically or internationally,” said Eva Stewart, global sector head of travel and tourism at YouGov.
“However, the picture is a nuanced one both between countries and within markets. It is crucial that the industry has a clear view of who is looking to travel and where they want to go so they can cater to these consumers as effectively as possible."