December 19, 2012
Kuwait City, Kuwait, 19 December 2012 – According to the latest findings of a MasterCard survey, 94% of respondents residing in Kuwait are set to travel for leisure in the coming months, an 11% increase from the 2011 results. The survey also shows that 72% of residents plan to increase or maintain their levels of leisure travel when compared to the previous year.
Respondents from Kuwait also indicated that they are most likely to travel within the Middle East in the coming months, with the majority of respondents surveyed aiming to travel to these markets. The Middle East is followed by North America and Asia as the next most popular destinations.
In terms of international destination countries, Egypt led the pack, with 31% of residents in Kuwait aiming to travel there in the coming months. Saudi Arabia (31%) and the UAE (20%) were also high on the list of destinations for travelers from Kuwait. While the UAE saw a 4% increase in popularity among respondents from Kuwait since 2011, a remarkable 15% more respondents are planning to visit Saudi Arabia in the coming months. In terms of domestic travel, respondents indicated that As-Sālimīyah (45%) remains a popular destination, followed by Hawalli (40%) and Al-Farwānīyah (31%).
“It is remarkable to see that almost all of the respondents from Kuwait are planning to travel in the coming months. This represents a significant opportunity for the travel industry, and is bound to be good news for the sector. Our latest survey also looks at the most popular outlets for travel deals, and shows that social media and coupon sites and apps are gaining traction as travel deal sources,” said Safdar Khan, country manager, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, MasterCard Worldwide.
Other Kuwait highlights:
- Over the last year, 82% of respondents residing in Kuwait travelled internationally for leisure, while 95% travelled locally for vacation, marking an increase of 2% for international travel and a remarkable increase of 77% for domestic travel as compared to 2011.
- With regard to business travel, 25% of the people surveyed travelled abroad and 74% travelled domestically over the last year. Business travel has increased since the 2011 survey, when 15% of respondents travelled internationally in the previous year, and 6% travelled locally.
- Among the respondents travelling by airlines, budget carriers remained the most popular (66%), followed by national airlines (36%) and international carriers (17%). Interestingly, budget carriers have seen an increase of 22% in popularity since 2011.
- Travelers from Kuwait were most likely to stay with friends/relatives (42%) during their business travels, while almost half (49%) of respondents preferred to stay with friends/relatives when travelling for leisure. Luxury hotels have witnessed a 20% drop in popularity for business trips since the 2011 survey.
- Most travelers from Kuwait enjoy shopping at airports, with 74% of them indicating that they have purchased items at an airport during their travels in past months. Edible items (52%) and cosmetics/fragrances/personal care (43%) remain the most popular purchases at airports.
- Respondents from Kuwait are keen to find the best travel deals, and indicated that airline websites (64%) are the most popular outlet to find a bargain. Travel agents (44%) remain popular for bargain-hunters, and some travelers also look for deals in newspapers (16%). Coupon sites/apps (13%) and social media (11%) are also gaining traction when it comes to finding travel deals.
- Not surprisingly, 85% of participants residing in Kuwait cite their mobile phone as their must-have travel gadget, while 5% won’t leave home without their laptop. Two percent must have their MP3 device with them during their travels.
Cash emerges as the most popular payment choice for travelers from Kuwait in relation to accommodation (76%), expenses under US$ 100 (62%) and transportation (55%). Debit/ATM cards are the second most popular method of payment for them in relation to the purchase of products over US$100 (49%), transportation (37%) and accommodation (18%). Credit cards are the least preferred for all categories.
- Across the Middle East, consumers from Kuwait (82%) top the list when it comes to the percentage of consumers aiming to travel for leisure internationally in the coming months. They are followed by consumers in UAE (79%), Qatar (77%), Oman (52%), KSA (43%), Lebanon (19%) and Egypt (14%). Kuwait’s top ranking this year takes the place of Saudi Arabia’s position in 2011.
- Budget carriers have gained some presence in the Middle East in the last year, with the majority of consumers in Kuwait and Oman and substantial proportions in other markets using this mode of air travel in past months. National airlines were the most used airlines in the other Middle East countries surveyed.
- Purchases at airports remained popular in the region, with around 75% of Middle East air travelers making purchases in the last year. In general, edible items (45%), cosmetics/ fragrance (32%) and cigarettes/ tobacco (21%) are the most popular categories.
The latest survey was conducted between April and June 2012 with respondents aged 18 – 64 in 25 markets. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.
 Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam
The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping, Index of Financial Literacy, and the Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).
MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports providing analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 80 Insights reports have been produced since 2004.
MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley & Sons.
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