Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Riyadh Travel Fair targets millennial tourist market

This year, Riyadh Travel Fair - the largest travel and tourism exhibition in Saudi Arabia - will be highlighting youth travel options as it eyes the growing millennial traveller population.

Exhibitors at the event, which runs from Aptil 7-10 at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, will be presenting digital innovations such as Virtual Reality (VR) goggles, information on new youth travel destinations, events and festivals.

More than 50 per cent of the population in the Middle East is between 18 and 34 years of age and surrounded by hi-tech gadgets. For 40 per cent of GCC travellers of all ages, social media is their inspiration when planning a trip and travel queries from the Mena region have grown 33 per cent in the last year. According to YouTube, there are over 310 million video views each day in the region and travel queries on YouTube had grown 22 per cent year on year by December 2014. In Saudi Arabia, 81 per cent of leisure travellers report having watched an online video to decide on a destination.

Capturing the millennial market has been on destinations and hoteliers’ agenda for a while now, and lifestyle-branded properties are springing up on every corner of the world.

Ferghal Purcell, COO, HMH – Hospitality Management Holding, said: “As young affluent travellers are migrating to new channels for travel planning, hoteliers too are making an effort to step up their game by being visible on multiple channels including meta-search for improved online bookings. At HMH we are geared in terms of technology with mobile optimised website and dynamic marketing and pricing strategy.”

Also commenting, Edwin Fuller, president and CEO – Orange County Visitors Association, said: “We see an increase of young middle class visitors from the Middle East. They are spending time exploring destinations not previously visited such as Southern California. The visitors are seeking opportunities to explore and enjoy the destinations of their choice they enjoy becoming part of their community enjoying the facilities, attractions, environment and weather. We are seeing an increase of multiple visits during a year and not just the summer.  Orange County California is the most single visited destination in California and the West Coast with over 4 million international guests in 2015.”

Due to rapid increase of social media usage, these ‘hashtaggers’ value authenticity, international standards, the most seamless technological connectivity, combined with a personal touch while choosing brands that can stand them out from the crowd.

Sheikh Imran Hafeez, director of Sales and Marketing, said: “We understand that young travellers, the never-ending explorers, eager for knowledge, prefers to travel to have unique experiences and to interact with local culture. Riyadh Travel Fair 2017 will showcase the potential of young traveller tourism along with its plethora of activities and experience offerings from various destinations from around the world.”
 
This year the Riyadh Travel Fair (RTF) will open its doors for ninth consecutive year. The four day event will become the focus of business networking opportunities, insightful seminar sessions, ministerial discussions and recognition of twelve months of the tourism industry’s achievements.

Riyadh Travel Fair is organized by ASAS Exhibition and Conference Organizing Company and is supported by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority as a Strategic Partner. - TradeArabia News Service



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