UAE and Saudi markets display highest demand for international travel

UAE and Saudi markets display highest demand for international travel

The International Travel & Tourism Report 2021 explores global travel demand, concerns and motivations

According to a survey conducted by online market research company YouGov UAE, residents are the most likely among global consumers to intend to travel abroad for leisure in the next 12 months.

The report titled ‘International Travel & Tourism Report 2021’ looks at global travel demand, concerns and motivations of approximately 185,000 survey respondents from 25 global markets.

Data from Global Travel Profiles, a daily survey which runs in 25 countries, found that in the month of May half of people worldwide said they plan to take a domestic holiday in the next 12 months, while demand for international holidays is lower with only 18% of consumers surveyed planning an international vacation.


The UAE and Saudi Arabia buck the global trend with respondents planning to travel substantially more than consumers in other countries.

Respondents in the Middle East also show a higher interest in business trips with consumer sentiment data showing that respondents in the MEA (18%) and APAC (14%) regions are more likely to travel for business than consumers in Europe (6%) and North America (11%). This makes them a favourable target market for airlines and hotels, particularly those offering premium products.

Not surprisingly, respondents named health risks as the primary barrier to travel, followed by travel restrictions. In the UAE, travel restrictions and health risks are given equal importance as the biggest concerns. However, in Saudi, health risks are the biggest concern, followed by the price of travel.

Roughly, one-third of respondents say the price currently prevents them from travelling

Speaking about the findings, YouGov Global Sector head of Travel & Tourism Eva Stewart said: “As the world begins to reopen to tourism, YouGov’s ‘International Travel & Tourism Report 2021: The road back to normality’ is a vital resource to industry insiders looking to understand traveller expectations in the current climate. It draws upon data from YouGov’s Destination Index and Global Travel Profiles tools, which are designed to give an always-on view of people’s changing attitudes to travel.

“As we move into a post-Covid world, it’s clear that many people are broadening their horizons and want to travel – both domestically and internationally. However, the picture is a nuanced one both between countries and within markets. It’s 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.”

For more information, visit the YouGov website 

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