By Elsa Baxter
Arabian Business survey finds more than a third of people rethinking travel plans.
Nearly 35 percent of people will not be taking a holiday this year because they cannot afford to, the latest Arabian Business online survey has found.
Finances continue to be tight for 34.7 percent of people who took part in the online poll, with luxuries like foreign travel currently out of the question.
Some 14.2 percent of people said they would manage to get away on a few weekend breaks in and around the region in 2010, but they would save on expensive airline costs by staying closer to home.
While the poll found 36.5 percent said they planned to have an annual two-week vacation to a long haul destination.
On the other end of the scale, 14.6 percent of respondents said they would be “taking the summer off to jet around the world, plus loads of mini-breaks in between.”
The poll results come a day after the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data showing the Middle East saw the highest passenger growth in the world during 2009.
The region witnessed a growth of 11.2 percent, in stark contrast to the global passenger demand which slumped by 3.5 percent.
The number of international tourists visiting the Middle East fell by six percent last year, according to the latest report by the UN World Tourism Organisation.
However, figures began to recover in the second half of the year and a return to positive growth is expected in 2010, the report added.
If this huge passenger growth number includes transit passengers, since Dubai is a hub between Europe and Asia, then it is a meaningless number. Those transit passengers aren't here long enough to make much difference to the economy.