Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has introduced a more advanced mechanism to measure and track the satisfaction levels of visitors to the city with various aspects of the destination offering from their time of arrival until departure.
As part of its wider Dubai International Visitors Survey (DIVS), this module is designed to scrutinise the end-to-end tourist experience and how likely a visitor of each nationality is to positively endorse Dubai as a must-visit destination, across the core destination pillars and services that are likely to most impact their travel.
The findings, released today at Arabian Travel Market as part of Dubai Tourism’s wider Annual Visitor Report, shows a massive 98% of international respondents across the cross-section of nationalities rating their Dubai travel experience in 2015 at a 7 or higher, with over 61% giving a 9+ score.
Closely mirroring these satisfaction results were ratings that measured the likelihood of the traveller to ‘recommend’ their Dubai visit to their network of friends and family, which showed 97.5% of respondents to be ‘likely promoters’ of which over 60% would be ‘active advocates’ for the Dubai brand.
In keeping with Dubai’s pursuit of excellence, only ratings at 9 and 10 on a 10-point scale are considered to be genuinely ‘happy’ and hence ‘active advocates’ of the city or its specific offering, while ratings of 7 and 8 are considered to be ‘satisfied’ and hence ‘likely promoters’. Anything at a rating of 6 or lower in this survey is earmarked as an area for further development, ensuring extremely high standards are maintained and strived for.
Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism & Commerce Marketing, said: “The findings from these visitor surveys will continue to inform Dubai Tourism’s on-going efforts to deliver a superior end-to-end destination experience to ensure visitors become loyal repeat travellers, supported by synchronised private and public partnership projects at all stages of the visitor journey. With continuing development of specialised facilities, sophisticated infrastructure and content through 2016 spearheaded by the opening of three new theme parks, a robust calendar of events, festivals and concerts, as well as enhanced beachfront and coastline regeneration initiatives, Dubai ultimately expects to make every visitor to the emirate a life-long ambassador of the destination.”
Across the emirate’s strategic destination offering pillars, topping the ‘happiness’ charts were the quality of experiences around Beach & Marine activities as well as the Hotels & Accommodation. Following very closely and registering very high degrees of satisfaction on the comprehensiveness of the offering were Shopping and the Gastronomy proposition indicating the effectiveness of the city’s active promotional efforts to broaden the appeal to a wider global market. Family offerings, Adventure Sport activities and the Business related proposition remained strong as aspects of a travel experience that Dubai has been delivering effectively and continues to evolve in terms of the variety it offers.
Earmarked as an area for enhancement based on respondents’ experience – in terms of both raising awareness and evolving the offering – was Culture, Art & Heritage – which is already being actively addressed during 2016 by Dubai Tourism in close collaboration with Dubai Municipality and Dubai Culture and Arts Center through the Dubai Historical District project.
Spanning 1.5 km², this regeneration project is aimed at enhancing Khor Dubai, as well as other historical neighborhoods of Bur Dubai, Al Fahidi and Deira, to showcase the emirate’s heritage, particularly in the fields of trade, handicrafts and pearl diving ably complementing other cultural experiences offered around the emirates.
In terms of infrastructure and service provisions at various touch points of a traveller’s journey, the survey saw remarkably high satisfaction levels with the city’s safety & security, thanks to the tireless efforts of Dubai Police – cementing one the cornerstones to building and maintaining the universal appeal of a family destination.
As part of the wider 2015 Annual Visitor Report, Dubai Tourism also released a number of tourism metrics, trends and insights across the destination.
In terms of visitation, leisure visitors continued to make up the lion’s share in 2015 at 64.9%, up 10% over the previous year, further underscoring the city’s growing attractions, events and activity portfolio that continues to appeal to an ever-growing catchment of visitors.
Dubai continued its core focus of becoming the world’s leading family destination, which is representative in the fact that families now make up more than half of all travellers visiting the city, whilst individual travellers constituted 29% of the overall base, remaining almost flat year-on-year.
Business traveller growth also remained steady despite toughening economic conditions, representing close to 20% of all visitors to the emirate in 2015. This confirms the city’s strategic importance as a global business and event hub as well as being an international gateway to high-yield regional markets.
Those visiting friends and families/or relatives (VFR) represented 13.9% of all visitors in 2015, underlining the importance of the residing population in being advocates for the city and goodwill ambassadors for Dubai through word-of-mouth endorsement.
The average length of stay at 7.2 was primarily led by families travelling on leisure visits, which continues to inform the long-term hotel accommodation offering. Those staying in hotels and hotel apartments made up nearly three-quarters of all accommodation choices for visitors in 2015, meaning Dubai continues to ensure its supply pipeline delivers quality, capacity, diversity and value to appeal to an expanding visitor demographic whilst maintaining its premium destination offering across budgets.
The Dubai International Visitors Survey also analysed visitation at key attractions across the city in 2015.
According to the findings, the multi-experience Downtown Dubai remained the city’s most iconic destination, with the world’s largest shopping centre, Dubai Mall, at the fore. With its rich shopping offering, year round family activities, including the Dubai Aquarium, it remains the most visited attraction with 86% of all international travellers going in 2015. The adjacent Dubai Fountain came in second place at 67% and one of the world’s most ‘selfied’ attractions and largest tower, Burj Khalifa, saw over 30% international visitation.
The city’s expanding cultural and heritage offerings also remained a major draw for visitors, with 49% engaging in the rich sites of the souks and old Dubai, which is set to further increase with the launch of key rejuvenation projects.
The city’s famous beaches and marinas continue to be a major draw for international travellers with nearly half taking in the vibrant promenade and waterfront hotspots. The city’s long-standing icons, The Palm Jumeirah and The Burj Al Arab hotel – again voted the Best Hotel in the World and Best Hotel in the Middle East at the Daily Telegraph’s annual Ultimate Luxury Travel Related Awards (ULTRAs) – also remained strong visitations drivers.