With all its natural beauty, habitats that intersperse the past, present and future with lush landscapes, rivers and mountains, Europe is and always will be a luxury escape for GCC travellers. Luxury can be defined in many ways depending on the clientele, some will need more private escapes whilst others prefer to have a full on service.
Travel curators will be the main contact when it comes to planning a holiday. In the GCC, there are times when travellers book on their own, but if they are travelling with family, or sometimes families, they require assistance to coordinate and ensure that every single requirement is taken care of, after all you will be in a country which is different, sometimes it gets easier if they have someone who speaks the same language, so this does become a key factor too when it comes to selecting a destination for vacation.
The relationship between
Europe and the GCC has been developing over the years, Rehan Ali, CEO, Tawfeeq Travel, explains how European market adjusts or adhere to make GCC travellers more welcome in their destination. “Be it the new development of e-visas or introduction of longer shopping hours, European markets have always been proactively adjusting to make GCC travellers more welcome,” he says.
In terms of selecting the final destination for vacation, GCC travellers will pick out Europe as the number one destination. Ali explains the key areas accommodated by European destinations to accommodate GCC travellers, saying, “European destinations have got a better understanding of GCC travellers. Hence, they ensure that not only the basic needs like accessibility, Arabic language, Halal food, luxury accommodation, luxury shopping are met, but also focus on enhancing the experience.”
Brand loyalty has been a number one priority to many travellers across the globe, most travellers prefer to stay at certain brands than others, however, with the pandemic, some of these trends did change but not to a great extent. Why does Europe prefer travellers from the GCC, is a question many ask, and according to Ali, there are three key factors behind, “It’s a mix of good spending power, loyalty and good appreciation of luxury.”
Travellers from Qatar are seen looking out for luxury destinations, so we inquired from Ali, what exactly are the travellers from Qatar look at when it comes to selecting a destination. Ali reiterated, “Europe is well perceived for its natural beauty, diverse landscape, history, culture and good weather. It is well regarded as a destination that offers great diversity in holiday types & holiday experiences, and shopping for luxury fashion & designer brands. Well-developed infrastructure, luxury accommodation, gastronomy, luxury shopping experiences, good weather, safety. Wellness is another area that’s growing at a fast pace.”
Speaking on the type of travellers to Europe from the GCC, Ali shared, “Families are still the dominant travel group among GCC travellers. Key attractions are city life, nature activities, shopping, theme parks for children. Typically, they spend around 3-6 weeks during summer holiday months.” A travel curator needs to arm travellers with enough informaton. “Our well experienced Holiday experts prepare our clients by giving them up-to-date information about latest travel policies, general weather conditions, latest products and experiences that the destination is offering. Our key role is to make our clients’ holiday experience, a memorable one by adding personal touch,” he says.