GCC travel: Discovery is the new obsession.

10th December 2020

With the continued limitation of travel, we await a time when travel is back to some semblance of normal. There is no doubt, we cant wait to pack our bags as we reminisce those day when we’d pick up our boarding passes and walk through immigration and cross that airbridge, but all we can do for now is patiently wait. While only Dubai is open for travel, GCC residents are on the edge of their seats waiting for international travel to return again.

While the travel industry works hard to get back to normality; today, we revisit our GCC travel data on Sila to learn more on purpose of future travel and what activities our consumers prefer to do once travel is back to normal.

The Travel Conversation

We previously dug into Sila to identify the potential first-travel destinations for our consumers. Out of our sample of 221k travel tweets, we had identified 84k consumers who intended to travel, those came back with Turkey and the USA within the most popular destinations.

The travel conversation has seen a drop since mid-October, with a drop of 155% compared to the end of November; however, 51% of our sample in-fact do intend to travel.

Travel tweets vs Intend to travel

Travel tweets vs Intend to travel

Our front-line of travelers

We are quite sure that almost everyone would love a quick travel, so we took a further look at profiles of these consumers. It was identified that 31-40 year olds are our first potential travelers.

Age structure for GCC consumers intending to travel

Age structure for GCC consumers intending to travel

36.6% of our sample who intend to travel are within the age range of 31-40, 21-30 year olds come in close second with 34.2%. A big percentage of 23% fall within the age category of 41-50; however, the smallest percentage comes from minors/young adults below the age of 20 with just 1.2%.

A must needed vacation

Next, we found something quite interesting. First, we started by comparing the different reasons to travel, and the results were as follows.

GCC's purpose of travel

GCC’s reasons for travel

Travels for vacations have emerged as the most popular reasons for travel amongst our sample with 63%, leaving travel for work in not-so-close second with just 23% of our sample. Travels for family visits surprisingly only came in as third popular with just 10%.

Let’s Discover

Its all about nature and discovery.

One of the rather most interesting discoveries in this analysis is the GCC’s purpose of travel. After previously identifying “travel for vacation” as the most popular reason, we thought it would be interesting to find out what activities our sample would be wanting to do. And were we right, the results were very very interesting.

Nature, nature and everything to do with nature.

After being travel-abroad-deprived for quite some time, the GCC seem to want a change of scenery. Yeah, local travel is great and all, but discovery always hits differently and our insights back these statements up.

GCC's purpose of travel

GCC’s purpose of travel

Our sample identified travel for nature as their main activity, and had culture come in second. While parks and beaches are a common theme around the GCC, they seemed to be much less popular. 41% of our sample would love to discover some nature-friendly destinations, while 33% would love some cultural visits.

A CTA for our travel industry

While the travel conversations have seemingly dropped, life is slowly going back to normal and consumers are very eager to travel- and would love travel abroad. Now is the time to push some dreamy nature and cultural content. Consumers want a taste of abroad, and that is what is interesting them at the moment.

This means facilitating these dreams – being empathetic to the demographics and wants of the customer to find elements that can resonate, while driving home some specific truths that can appeal to the traveller over the longer-term. This is a mix of content, or a campaign, that can really resonate with the right touchpoint so that imminent travel season can bounce back as quickly as possible.

As a creative consultancy agency, D/A recommends pushing content that is unique to the Western world and is different to what the GCC has to offer.

About Sila

D/A has built a custom data warehouse service called Sila that ingests thousands of social media data points a day from across the Arab world. Powered by data science we turn that raw social data into insights, strategy, and actionable marketing.

To find out more about how to best use an audience first approach to influencers, check out the Art & Science of Influencer Marketing in the G.C.C or get in touch.