By Andy Sambidge
Poll of 1,200 passengers reveals renewed confidence in travel spending.
A survey of air passengers travelling from the UAE has revealed that long haul leisure trips are back on the agenda following a dramatic cut-back during the global downturn.
The YouGov Siraj poll of more than 1,200 leisure and business travellers showed that 31 percent of respondents who have been holding back are now planning to travel in the future.
People were now much more optimistic about their travel plans, the survey said with 46 percent planning long haul business trips and 35 percent for leisure purposes in the next few month.
The survey said this represented a big increase since the global financial crisis took hold in 2008, when only 24 percent of business and 19 percent of leisure travellers were planning to travel.
"We had seen a downturn in travel volumes previously, but people
are now more optimistic about travel," said Jane Wilson, director,
Travel and Tourism Research at YouGov.
"In the previous quarter we saw travel behaviour had not changed that much, but now people are planning to splash out again and resume what they have been putting off. People are more confident spending on luxury vacations.
"The outlook for the future is looking more certain and showing signs of improvement."
Despite the impact of the global crisis, the Middle East's aviation industry has continued to see growth in the number of air passengers with Dubai International Airport reporting a near-12 percent rise in October, its fifth consecutive month of double digit growth.
The survey also revealed that the recent shift away from business class was a trend that was set to continue, with 72 percent of leisure travellers saying they will continue to fly economy, while more business travellers are flying premium economy (29 percent).
The return of confidence was being reflected in YouGov's other research, the company said, adding that its latest monthly Job Index revealed nervousness about job security had decreased considerably.