Sustainability defines Middle East’s luxury travel sector

Sustainability defines Middle East’s luxury travel sector

Sustainability is becoming an important consideration within the Middle East’s luxury travel sector, especially in the UAE, where 61 percent of residents are willing to pay a premium for more responsible, eco-friendly and sustainable tourism experiences.

According to YouGov’s Global Travel & Tourism Whitepaper 2023: Luxury travel post-pandemic, one in 10 consumers has stayed in luxury eco-friendly accommodation during the past three years. This trend is especially prevalent among high-income travelers, whose sustainable luxury hotel stays have increased by 50 percent during the same period.
The UAE topped global rankings in terms of the value placed on exploring, with almost two-thirds (58 percent) of respondents reporting that travel has become more important to them since the Covid-19 pandemic. In terms of luxury travel priorities, a quarter of those living in the Emirates are looking for great entertainment, whereas 19 percent place the biggest emphasis on premium-quality accommodation when booking trips.
In addition to sustainable luxury travel, consumers’ appetite for authentic excursions is also on the rise within this segment. Over half (51 percent) of affluent tourists have sought more meaningful travel experiences since the pandemic, and more than a quarter (27 percent) are willing to pay extra for secluded villas and chalets. These figures coincide with growth across the Gulf’s travel industry. By 2028, the value of the UAE’s outbound sector is set to reach $30.5 billion, Saudi Arabia is on course to hit USD 27 billion, Kuwait is expected to grow to USD 17 billion and Qatar is likely to exceed USD 13 billion.
Premium travel will be placed under the microscope at ATM 2023 in a session titled “Sustainable Luxury: At What Cost? ” where a range of industry-critical topics, such as the environmental impact of luxury hospitality and the most effective methods of carbon offsetting, will be discussed.
The 30th edition of ATM will explore the future of sustainable travel in line with its theme “Working Towards Net Zero.” Having officially initiated its journey to net zero, the conference program will explore how innovative sustainable travel trends are likely to evolve, allowing delegates to identify growth strategies within key vertical sectors, while providing a platform for regional experts to explore a sustainable future ahead of COP28, which will take place in November 2023 at Expo City Dubai.


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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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