10 tips to the Arabian Peninsula destinations for attracting more European visitors

Wednesday 24, April 2013


10 tips to the Arabian Peninsula destinations for attracting more European visitors


Reviewing last results from the global reference benchmarking survey TRAVELSAT Competitive Index, TCI Research and ATTRACT jointly suggest 10 tips to the Arabian Peninsula destinations for attracting more European visitors.


  1. Focusing efforts on visitors' experience enhancement: more than any other destination in the world, 1st criteria (32%) in the decision making process for considering a trip to the Arabian Peninsula is “positive friends and relatives recommendation.”
  2. Consequently launching viral marketing campaigns and tools growing post-trip buzz and the word of mouth effect that reinforce the credibility of positive press coverage the peninsula still requires for explaining its identity and building its attractiveness.
  3. Engaging more locals (as well as expats) to interact with visitors since these interactions for experiencing their true hospitality is the 1st criteria influencing EU visitors branding experience. Improving further the cultural experience and other specific visitor oriented service like taxi and signposting.
  4. Building stronger destination synergies and capitalizing on the real variety of competitive but allied destinations inside the Peninsula. Inviting rather mature destinations (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, …) work harder on the repeaters segment taking also benefit of increasing clientele that are potentially interested in today confidential neighbor destinations not yet aggressively launched internationally. Inviting this new destinations launching actively their specific Country Brands in European markets.
  5. Meeting specific European travelers’ expectations by promoting as a priority intangible hospitality (environment and landscape beauty, local population hospitality, safety feeling…) beyond usual tangible offers (accommodation, food…).
  6. Aligning the destination brand with actual competitive DNA of the Arabian Peninsula which includes in particular: shopping experience, beach beauty, business/MICE, luxury accommodation, leisure parks.
  7. Working further on segment based marketing for attracting specific groups already in affinity with the region like: golf players, SPA/wellness visitors, sport events attendees… All these groups tend to be over-represented in the Arabian Peninsula vs. average world competition.
  8. Clearly differentiating from world competition on a strong value for money proposition rather than price.
  9. Working harder on convincing, training, incentiving travel distribution systems pushing the destination as a “where to go” since today travel agency recommendation counts only for 10% of the decision criteria.
  10. Implementing innovative destination marketing & PR approaches with strong Country Brands that are not directed to the travel market only but that also build opportunities for attracting visitors, talents, investments, clients and public opinion sympathy by growing competitive identity in tourism as well as culture, business and governance.


Commenting the results, ATTRACT CEO Philippe Mugnier adds: “Touristic attractivity is not only a destination’s most precious, intangible asset, but the most complex and fragile as well. Feeding the imagination of consumers and opinion leaders with powerful concepts, meaningful stories and emotions is the key to building a destination’s touristic attractivity. But before launching marketing efforts, it is essential for any marketing professional to analyze in depth key data of the items that are building targeted consumer perception. From that analysis, emerging Arabian destinations can start marketing themselves taking the very best of the European market potentialities.”


TCI Research CEO Olivier Henry-Biabaud adds: “The Arabian Peninsula region benefits from a large number of competitive assets recognized by its visitors, including several key competitive DNA for attracting European visitors both for leisure and business motivations. However the worldwide competition continues to improve over time and choosing the appropriate channels and messages to attract further European markets is vital for Arabian Peninsula destinations to reach a sustainable growth and meet demanding European visitors’ expectations.”



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