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Sentiment towards Travel in the G.C.C during COVID-19 and Ramadan: how can this be leveraged?

May 31, 2020

It wouldn’t take Conan Doyle’s fictional, private detective to come to the elementary conclusion that the Travel & Tourism sector has witnessed massive change in 2020 and the public’s sentiment towards travel forms a huge part of that. 

We have already seen interest in staycations rise across the U.A.E and how important these could be to launching the tourism sector, as a whole.

When it comes to broader travel, what is the sentiment in the G.C.C and what glimmers of hope can be leveraged in the future to facilitate the budding traveller?

Rather than asking research panelists, where responses are often tailored to the needs of the brand, Digital Ape’s policy is to process the data through our in-house, ambient feedback service. In this case, filtering broader data down to 3.6 million comments on Twitter related to major travel to destinations that were top of mind pre-COVID.

Broadly, negative sentiment dominates, but the below shows that some do not perceive travel as negatively as we expected. (Neutral can mostly be taken as positive.) Also, the same can be said for flights. Although, the total amount of data was significantly less, we still see a hankering for hotels with almost treble the conversations positive.

When we take into account specific feelings on topics related to travel from the G.C.C, we are far more interested in health and well-being, rather than COVID and the lockdown. This can also be linked to a huge increase in healthy food content in Q1 and into Ramadan. 

Quarentine Health Fitness Sentiment during COVID

Family is what is bringing us together, in the lead up to Ramadan and during the month itself. This matches deeper sentiment analysis below, with help of custom built models around the topic, showing the upward trend across time in ‘togetherness’, ‘family’, ‘sharing’.

Graph Sentiment Travel Family Citizens People

Graph describing community feelings in 2019 to June 2020

Due to governmental restrictions, to venture into pastures new, or old, was almost impossible. That said, travel has story slightly longer than a few months within our species and this programmed yearning for adventure can’t be turned off in the long-term, with short-term societal upheaval, however massive that change may be.

There is some pent up demand for travel, which is guided by key content creators (influencer) online. This should be utilised by suppliers with experience in the sector, to aid the tourism marketeer to navigate the stormy seas ahead via data-driven, authentic creative, and creator management. This data also backs up the need for travel organisations to emphasize the travellers’ health and well-being in their service offering and advertising content. 


About the data

DA has built a custom data warehouse service called Sila, powered by data science we turn that raw social data into actionable insights. We have mined 32,000,000 posts, 16,125,448,591 video views, 4,152,699,615 comments, thus far.

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