Onlink Services attended the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai. We would like to share what we like to call our "Market Insight" for the Russian travel industry and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Booking trends out of Russia to UAE continue to be last minute especially after visa cancellation. Last minute trend has been confirmed by Booking.com people whom we’ve met at ATM as well as hoteliers and destination management companies (DMCs).
That being said, operators in Russia are also reporting more depth in future bookings for autumn and winter season to UAE.
Summer is hot in UAE and hotels, DMCs, and operators are expecting 2017 bookings to be similar to 2016. The emirates Ras Al Kaimah and Fujairah hotels are offering very attractive all inclusive packages hoping to draw tourists.
Competition for Russian tourists goes well beyond UAE. Turkey is expecting a good summer 2017 as many Russian operators are redirecting their sales efforts to Turkey after over a year of absence.
Looking forward, operators are already negotiating charter flights and seat blocks with airlines for autumn and winter. Some airlines will be restarting flights into Russia that were canceled in previous years.
More flights is good for hotels but tour operators have some reasons to be concerned. If operators contract too many seat blocks with airlines they might get burned if the travel market decreases. Price dumping is bad and selling at a loss is worse and the Russian travel industry knows this dilemma well.