Solo travel, working holidays, original destinations and environmental responsibility are key trends
Hilton has released its 2024 Trends Report, a global study that explores traveller behaviours across key markets, including the UAE.
The study reveals that the evolution of the UAE traveller is manifested in shifting preferences, including a greater desire for individual experiences, an increased pursuit of spontaneity, and a renewed focus on health and wellness.
Commenting on the report, Hilton vice president of Operations, Arabian Peninsula Aligi Gardenghi said: “We’ve seen the travel industry’s dynamic comeback over the last few years, and it’s clear that traveller perceptions are continuing to evolve around the world.
"As next-gen travellers from the UAE seek to prioritise solo travel, working holidays, original destinations, and environmental responsibility, we remain committed to delivering pioneering hotel experiences that push the boundaries of modern hospitality and lay the foundations for the future of a discerning and perceptive traveller population.”
Solo travel emerged as a popular trend in the UAE study, with 75% of respondents having embarked on a solo trip within the past year, and 61% considering taking one within the next three years.
Data from Hilton.com shows that searches for solo travel on the site have increased by 10% in 2023 compared to 2022 in UAE, with top destinations searched by solo UAE travellers being Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, London and Istanbul.
The data also points to the rising popularity of a working holiday, with many travellers booking trips that support a blend of business and pleasure. On average, guest WiFi use in Hilton hotels has increased by 23% since 2022 across the EMEA market.
Hilton’s new report also characterised next-gen travellers as people seeking newness and excitement, with 85% looking forward to visiting a place they’ve never been before. Over half of all travellers also revealed a desire for spontaneity, with 55% choosing to plan their holiday a month or less in advance.
The influence of social media and popular culture is also significant with 79% of UAE respondents admitting to booking their vacations based on trends from social platforms, drawing a connection between the impact of influencers and digital marketing.
Holistic wellbeing and a commitment to sustainability continue to take centre stage for the next-gen UAE traveller, driven by a collective global awareness of personal and environmental health factors. Nearly all respondents (93%) rank environmental credentials like TripAdvisor Green Leaders and GreenKey Global as ‘somewhat or very important’ when booking a holiday.
To read the full Hilton 2024 Trends Report, visit www.stories.hilton.com/2024trends