Based in the UAE, Nanou Destinations & Hotel Marketing is dedicated to promoting unique destinations as well as independent boutique hotels focused on the vibrant Middle Eastern Market and providing their clientele with a truly personalised approach to tourism.
Over the course of last year, eager travellers have been closely monitoring country borders, air corridors and travel destinations as they look forward to discovering new lands and cultures, returning to familiar favourites or visiting family. 2020 will be a year that will no doubt live in our memories as the year we all took a step back, took stock of what was truly important and what decisions we would make in the years to come. The pandemic has given us more time with family and friends or has kept us apart, it has also taught us to truly appreciate what we all took for granted.
As we move into this next phase of the “new normal many people have overcome the initial shock of lockdown and are now looking forward to travelling once again. We forecast a surge in multi-generational families, the opportunity to share the same emotions and learn new things together, or large groups of friends celebrating being together again. There will also be others who will look for a more holistic approach to travel and an opportunity to re-asses and re-evaluate life, priorities & values.
With the introduction of pre-travel Covid-19 testing and vaccines, we start to see growing confidence in travellers to travel again to destinations with ow Covid-19 cases. We can see new travel trends emerging. Today’s customers and travellers truly value authenticity. There is a strong appeal to go back to simplicity, reconnect with oneself, loved one, nature and discover new safe destinations with low Covid-19 counts and no quarantine requirements.
Travellers are opting to venture outdoors, amongst nature for wellness focused and personalised holidays. These eager globe trotters value their own privacy in a space conducive to a healthy lifestyle specifically tailored to their own needs.
The tourism industry took a heavy blow as a result of the pandemic but the good news is that ecosystems previously affected by an influx of tourism have since developed with wildlife thriving in abundance. Protecting these rejuvenated areas will be of paramount importance and travellers will be more inclined to maintain their natural beauty for generations to enjoy in the future
Along with transparency, what is vital today, travel & hospitality brands will offer more flexibility, choice and value through their waiver policies for reservations. They need to ease the worry of bookings in such uncertain times by offering 100% money back guarantee or the opportunity to change the dates or destinations without charge. The customer of today will value such flexibility and transparency.
A recent survey from YouGov reveals the United Arab Emirates, where vaccine rollouts were ahead of most other countries, intends to take international leisure trips to higher level than domestic trips over the course of the next 12 months. Demand for international travel is largely driven by millennials and GenX.
According to an article in the National newspaper, ahead of the summer travel season, 81 per cent of the overall search traffic for dnata Travel was for international destinations
Seychelles, Switzerland, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Spain, Greece, Italy, USA, Phuket, Gorgia and Zanzibar. Prove to be popular summer holiday destinations.
Staycations continues to be popular as will short haul overseas breaks. Maldives, Cyprus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkey are predicted to be amongst the favourite destinations.
Middle East travellers consider destinations they have been to before and know well which instills confidence, reassurance and familiarity. Moving forward travellers will seek out to go off the beaten track to find the most beautiful parts of the world, which will not be overcrowded.
With Expo 2020 due to take place later this year residents in the UAE are expected to spend some of their leave in the Emirates to marvel at the many wonders this historic event will bring.
Moving forward, travel brands which are timely and thoughtful in their marketing, will be better positioned for a swift and robust return. In view of the above, it is essential to offer bespoke & cost-effective services. It is essential to be diligent and put great emphasis on creating action plans and tailor-made solutions for your customers, to help them increase awareness of the brand and in their target markets across the region.
Many nationals from this region may still want luxury, but some will be a little more cautious with their travel budgets.
This is of course just a snapshot of what is to come, but offers a fairly clear picture of current trends. As you start to plow through the myriad of options now available within each segment and then overlay that with an expanding demand spectrum, varied cost consideration, health & safety concerns, duration and so on, successfully enticing visitors from the Middle East will require careful research, a meticulous strategy and a trusted partner.
Nadège Noblet, founder of NANOU Destination & Hotel Marketing, a full destination and hotel representation company, is a highly experience hospitality, travel and tourism expert and industry insider.
Noblet has been working in senior management positions in the Middle East for over two decades.
Her industry track record includes involvement in major organisations such as Le Meridien, InterContinental, Hyatt Regency, Emirates Hotels & Resorts, HMH and Reed Travel Exhibitions where she was exhibition manager for Arabian Travel Market (ATM).