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UAE and Saudi Arabia top global survey for intent to travel abroad in 2021

UAE and Saudi Arabia top global survey for intent to travel abroad in 2021

A recent ‘Global Holiday Intent’ survey conducted by YouGov has revealed that residents in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are the most likely to make an international trip in 2021.

The poll, which was conducted during October and November 2020, asked recipients if they were planning to make an international trip within the next 12 months and 48% of those polled in the UAE confirmed their intent to travel, with Saudi Arabia coming in a close second with 46% of respondents confirming their intent to travel abroad in 2021.

The survey was conducted before the most recent announcements about COVID-19 vaccines, so in many respects this is even better news for the Middle East’s aviation sector.

Nearly half of those polled, confirmed that they intended to travel in 2021 and once vaccines have been rolled out around the world, those numbers can only increase.


In terms of outbound travel, many expatriates will be looking for a relaxing holiday or hoping to travel home to see family and friends.

In terms of inbound travel, it was welcome news that almost a third of Germans polled said that they intended to travel internationally – Germany is one of largest European feeder markets to the GCC, 1.8 million overnight stays in 2018. Indeed, over 316,000 Germans visited Dubai between January and June 2019.

Denmark, Norway and Germany rounded off the top five places with 36%, 34% and 31% respectively, with intent to travel overseas, while Japan at 5%, China at 10% and US on 14% were the least likely to travel internationally in 2021.

In terms of domestic travel, Thailand came out on top with 68% of residents confirming their intent to travel, with Indonesia (61%), Australia (59%), China (55%) and Malaysia (54%) making up the rest of the top five.

Singapore was at the bottom of the domestic travel poll with just 14% of respondents saying that they intended to travel in 2021, followed by Canada (27%), UAE (35%), KSA (37%) and Germany (40%).

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