Solo female travellers could be the key to growth within the region’s hospitality sector.
That’s according to The Ascott Limited, who has drawn together a report into guest demographics, specifically looking at the mix of male and female guests. The gender report shows that 86% of its guests in the Middle East are male.
“Currently far more male than female guests stay at Ascott properties across the Middle East. Trends are changing though, with increasing numbers of solo female travellers and cultural attitudes, particularly in Saudi Arabia, moving towards more freedom for travel,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.
That growth has been reflected in locations such as Jeddah and Muscat. Compared to 2016, Ascott Tahlia Jeddah experienced a 34% year-on-year increase in female travellers in 2017. At Somerset Panorama Muscat, the number of women visiting the property has trebled since its opening in March 2016.
“We are seeing more growth in Muscat and KSA from female travellers and identify this from the leisure and business sector respectively,” added Miccolis.
“With the decree overturning the ban on female drivers in Saudi Arabia, we envisage a spike in domestic leisure travel as women become independently mobile.It means there is an opportunity for the serviced residence industry to tap in to the growing number of female travellers and provide tailored services specifically for women.”
Recently, Somerset Panorama Muscat in Oman held a special celebration for Omani Women’s Day, showcasing its desire to support women at work and welcome a greater number of female residents to the property.
Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh has a women’s only leisure floor consisting of an outdoor pool & deck, gymnasium, lounge, children’s playroom and day spa.
“Women-only guest amenities are just one of the small differences we put in place throughout the region and with more female travellers, we will continue to develop initiatives to support this growth,” said Miccolis.