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Update TOURISM NEWS


TOURISM NEWS EU bookings by Chinese up 9%


EUROPE UAE


Europe has surged ahead of the rest of the world in attracting Chinese travellers during the Chinese New Year and the ensuing Golden Week holiday. New research released by data analysts ForwardKeys reveals the number of bookings made to the European Union (EU) grew by 9.2%, compared to a growth of just 0.2% for the rest of the world. The growth was strongest in the


northern EU region at 19%, followed by in the southern EU at 6.1%, while the western part of the EU recorded 6%. Only the central and eastern parts of the EU failed to benefit from the trend, recording a decrease of 3.7%. However, EU countries will have


to work hard in a post-Brexit world. Once the UK is taken out of the equation, the EU’s growth in Chinese travellers during the period drops by 1.1 percentage points.


TECHNOLOGY Hoteliers urged to shake up digital policies


Hospitality bosses are being warned to shake up their businesses in order to meet the changing demands of the modern traveller. New research released by


Sabre and global trend observers TrendWatching shows travellers are becoming increasingly dependent on virtual companions, from digital assistants to chatbots, and are even beginning to seek out those with a personality. Traditional retailers are also launching their immersive brand


experiences for consumers and creating exclusive partnerships with other brands, so driving up standards. The increase in smart devices means that traditional brands must do more to engage with travellers who are also increasingly nomadic in their habits with no set place or time for work. Sabre Hospitality Solutions


president Clinton Anderson said: “The hospitality industry is always reinventing itself and constantly adapting to the changing expectations of travellers. “As a result, digital transformation


Modern travellers are digital savvy


has become a rising priority for hoteliers due to its ability to generate more targeted, personalised offers. “Ultimately, shifts in how individuals interact with technology, brands and even space translate directly into new, untapped opportunities for hoteliers.”


Abu Dhabi sees 10 million visitors


Abu Dhabi received more than 10 million international visitors in 2018 having seen an increase in hotel guests of 13.62% since 2016. The total number also


EU cities such as London celebrate Chinese New Year


The bookings made by Chinese


visitors fall into two distinct categories with either an extended visit to the EU or an off-peak trip made before heading back to China for local celebrations during Golden Week. ForwardKeys VP insights Olivier


Ponti said: “Chinese tourists clearly still have Europe at the top of their favourite long-haul destinations. The marketing initiatives to bring them here have been impressive, and they’re paying off.”


represented a year-on-year increase of 3.94% to the capital of the UAE.


The two biggest markets of India and China both posted double-digit growth in guests staying in one of either the emirate’s 168 hotels or hotel apartments, as did the other key market of the US. However, despite the bigger


growth in Americans, the UK remained the third biggest market to the country. Abu Dhabi department of


culture and tourism chairman Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak said: “We are now firmly established as a world-class cultural destination. The soaring visitor figures we have seen are evidence of the increase in global appeal of our emirate.” The results also showed a 27.82% increase in cruise passengers to Abu Dhabi over the three-year period, from 279,704 in 2016 to 354,015 in 2018.


Inbound tourist numbers are rising for Abu Dhabi


routesonline.com ROUTES NEWS 2019 ISSUE 2 19


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