MIDDLE EAST TOURISM
Middle East Tourism Market is a game changer but It is also one of the most challenging markets to get Business from if you don’t have the right partner.
Middle East Tourism - An Overview
Middle East Tourism continues to grow at a Rapid pace and The Middle East tourists remain one of the highest spending travelers in the world – spending as much as as US$500 more than the average European travelers.
This has made the Middle East countries one of the most lucrative outbound tourist markets in today’s fast growing international tourism industry. According to recent research, Middle East, travel and tourism activity is growing by 4.4% per annum, which means that there is continuous growth for anyone wanting to invest in this Market.
Middle East Tourism - The Why
The What you should know about Middle East Tourism before you enter
- Have a deep Understanding of the Different regions in the Middle East Market.
- Halal food plays an important role.
- Service is very Important. The Middle East has top of the line service and the same is expected when they Travel.
- Family Travel is important. A Family can also be a small group.
- Middle East has over 200 Nationalities and each Nationality is different. Your Packages need to account for this.
- Eating & Shopping take priority over History..
- The whole region Love’s Deals / Bargaining . Whether Buying Packages or Souvenirs
- Online trumps Offline for B2C and reverse applies for B2B.
- Excellent Flight Connectivity. (Direct Flights are preferred. Low Cost Airline destinations get a faster Traction.)
- In General Middle Eastern Local Travelers want a lot of free time.
- Speedy Response time. A lot of conversation (incl Quotations) happens on Whatsapp.
- Conversion rates are low as everything gets compared with Booking.com.
- Price trumps Loyalty. Loyalty is not the Biggest Strength for major part of the Markets.
The How to sell to the Middle East Tourism Market.
- Think long term. You need to win the trust of the Agents. We can transfer our relationships but you need to walk the Talk.(If you are not able to see 2 years down the line, don’t enter this market)
- Have Patience. You may have to quote 5-6 Times before you get the first booking.
- Have products which cater to multiple nationalities. Remember 200+ nationalities call Middle east their home.
- Create Recall with Agents. via Email & Whatsapp (Middle East has over 75K+ Agents) If you can’t work on Whatsapp, don’t expect to get Business.
- Forget Monthly Reports. Work on Real time reports. (if your current partner doesn’t offer this then you are missing on Business)
- Participate in ATM Trade Show. Show of face is very important
- Travel to all the Key cities in the Middle East, atleast once every 3 months. Out of sight is out of mind.
- Be ready to Learn. (Middle East Tourism Market is not easy to crack.)
The Budgets you should consider
- Think the Middle East Tourism Spending Potential First. This means you need to be clear whom you are targeting. Mass Market would have different budgets v/s Up-market.
- Remember that Middle East Tourists have one of the highest Tourism Spend.
- Have very generous Entertainment Budgets.
- Align your Budgets with the Stats above.
- Be ready to have good amount allocated for Sales Trips. Middle East is expensive and you need to be here regularly if you wish to succeed.
- Have Budgets for Arabian Travel Mart Trade Show.
Final Parting Thoughts on our Research
- If you really want to succeed with the Middle East Tourism market and get your share of Travelers then it is advisable to have someone to handhold you.
- A Rep / Sales & Marketing Company would be the best way forward but Choose carefully.
- Think in terms of Long term growth.
- Pedigree of the Person leading Sales should trump Retainer cost.
- Be ready for Disappointments. No matter how good you are you need to win over the Trust of agents in the Middle East Markets.
- Have your toughest Reservation People who can deal with low conversion rates handle the Middle East Tourism Market.
- Be Ready to fight a Price war every single time. (Even for Luxury)
- Luxury may fight a price war in the begining but may buy an upsell for thousands of dollars without batting an eyelid.