Survey Finds Travellers in Saudi Arabia Cautiously Optimistic
These are the findings from YouGov Siraj’s Travel Tracker survey, a research tool which tracks travel trends quarterly. 505 leisure and 854 business travellers from Saudi Arabia responded to the survey during September 2009.
Looking to the coming year, 34% of leisure travellers from the Kingdom expect their travel to increase, as opposed to 14% who think their travel will decrease. The remaining 48% do not expect changes in their travel. Moreover, 46% of business travellers expect to fly more, while 11% only expect their travel to decrease.
“As the region looks toward 2010, leisure travellers are being cautiously optimistic about their future travel plans. Last year the economic downturn meant business travel budgets were restricted. This year, people in Saudi are no longer prepared to hold back and will be flying for business in greater numbers,” says Jane Wilson, Director, Travel and Tourism Research at YouGov Siraj.
Looking at the amount of trips people took from Saudi Arabia in 2009 compared to 2008, the survey shows no dramatic change, both for leisure and business travel. 11% have taken short-haul leisure trips, compared to 9% in 2008. 10% took short-haul business trips compared to 12% in 2008. 64% took long-haul holidays compared to 63% and 54% went on long-haul business trips compared to 49% in 2008.
The shift away from economy class to premium economy is a trend that is set to continue in the Saudi Arabia. 5% more leisure travellers, and 6% more business travellers have flown on premium economy over the last year, and the case is expected to remain the same over the next year. “Looking at the research and from how we understand the market place, we expect the travel volumes to change considerably towards the second quarter of 2010 and for the positive.” concludes Mrs. Wilson.