Skyscanner’s latest Travel Trends report shows value for money remains a key factor for UAE travellers
Skyscanner’s latest report, ‘Travel Trends: Redefining value through experience in 2024’ shows that value for money remains a key factor for UAE travellers, with the cost of the hotel (16 percent) and flight (32 percent) being the biggest factors determining the destination. Food (61 percent), attractions (64 percent) and the weather (68 percent) are the three biggest factors for UAE travellers when deciding where to go on holiday, with historical tours, hitting the beach and sampling local food coming out as the top cultural activities.
UAE residents continue to prioritise travel with over half (56 percent) budgeting to spend more on travel in 2024 compared to 2023, while 31 percent will spend the same. Travellers can make their money go even further by opting for destinations that have seen the biggest airfare price drops in 2023 compared to last year. These include Orlando (United States) with a 72 percent drop, Malé (Maldives) with a 58 percent drop, Rome (Italy) with a 52 percent drop and Munich (Germany) with a 47 percent drop.
Blending proprietary flights and hotels data based on millions of searches with an annual consumer behaviour study and expert commentary, Skyscanner reveals its top 10 trending destinations, 10 best-value destinations as well as 2024’s hottest travel vibes and emerging traveller types.
Skyscanner’s data shows that the way consumers assess the value of a trip in particular will change next year. Although ranked highly, price will no longer be the decisive factor in 2024. UAE travellers now rate the overall ‘vibe’ of a destination as an important factor when choosing where to go on holiday (42 percent).
In the last few years, the number of people searching online for sleep retreats (and asking what they are) has increased and people are becoming more interested in their sleep health. Over 80 percent of UAE travellers are more mindful of their sleep health today compared to a few years ago. In the report, Skyscanner shares tips from a sleep expert as well as the top three cities for a great night’s kip.
Main character energy
Film and TV is a popular source of travel inspiration for UAE travellers, with 92 percent saying they are inspired to take a trip to a destination they’ve seen on the big or small screen. Skyscanner often sees an increase in searches to select destinations whenever a binge-worthy series or movie hits the screens.
Budget bougie foodies
Food and travel have always been intrinsically linked and just under half (46 percent) of UAE travellers have booked a destination purely on a specific restaurant they want to visit. A further 46 percent say it’s something they’d like to do. Osaka, aptly named the ‘kitchen of Japan’ tops Skyscanner’s list for foodies on a budget in 2024.
Catching your favourite band or artist abroad – a huge 72 percent of UAE travellers would consider attending a gig or concert abroad in 2024 if it would help them save money.
In addition, the Skyscanner team see emerging trends for the Analogue adventurers (Gen Z are craving old-school analogue adventures that ditch the digital device in favour of how it used to be done); Celebration vacationers (72 percent of UAE travellers have taken a group trip to celebrate a birthday or anniversary, with a further 23 percent saying it’s something they’d love to do) and Luxe-for-less seekers where it found that 37 percent of UAE travellers plan to upgrade their flight to business or first class in 2024, while 42 percent plan to purchase airport lounge access to get their trip off to a great start.
Sustainability and AI will be two of the biggest factors affecting the travel industry in the coming years. As evidenced in previous years, environmental factors are also key to travellers’ plans. While 64 percent of travellers globally believe sustainable travel is important, 18 percent would be reluctant to pay for more sustainable options.
The Travalyst coalition was formed to help holidaymakers understand the environmental impact of their travel. Skyscanner flags lower emitting flights and show lower emissions options for car hire, to help travellers who care about both price and the planet.