The FINANCIAL — The UAE continues to be an increasingly important destination for travellers from both China and India, according to InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
IHG’s data trends show that, the hotel market in the Emirates can expect to see an increase in inbound business from these two powerful markets throughout the year.
IHG’s data reporting shows that its business from Chinese travellers to the Middle East has jumped by 13.31% from 2015 to 2016, followed by an increase of over 24% YoY (Feb YTD). Dubai saw an increase of 3.3% points jump from last year while the Dead Sea, Jordan has gone up by 5% points.
The traffic IHG’s hotels have received from India also points to a growth in the UAE’s room nights, which has gone up by 24% YoY (Feb. YTD). While there has been a drop in room nights in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have continued to grow, with 22% and 3% jumps respectively.
James Britchford, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, India, Middle East, Africa, IHG said: “We have seen some headwinds in the Middle East in the last year, however the region remains dynamic and fundamentals for the hotel industry here are strong, particularly in the UAE. From a mid- and long-term perspective, the major cities of the Middle East will continue to grow as business hubs and tourist destinations. We remain strong in our outlook towards the Middle East in general, while the UAE remains a key market for us.”
On the specific topic of Chinese and Indian travel trends, Mr. Britchford explained: “Ultimately, China and India represent the largest source of tourism markets in the world. We have seen an increase in MICE travel from China, particularly to the UAE, which has bolstered the need for growth across several of our brands. We are also seeing Chinese travellers engage in more long-haul travel, as well increased engagement with luxury hospitality. These trends are similar for Indian travellers as well.”
IHG also continues to nurture its existing brands in the region that cater to demand from both China and India, growing its luxury offering with InterContinental Hotels and Resorts and its business brand Crowne Plaza while expanding its mid-scale properties under the Holiday Inn brand family, in order to meet the growing demand from business travellers and tourists alike.