Gadget-free and shopping sprees rule travel trends
The Global Trends Report by market research firm Euromonitor International predicted a continued rise in holiday packages which cater to tourists on shopping trips, a recovery in Middle East visits following the Arab Spring and Americans interested in destinations that have previously been off-limits.
Shoppers from Brazil, Russia, India and China, the so-called BRIC countries with rapidly growing economies, were expected to flock to European cities to splurge on luxury goods.
Chinese visitors to Europe alone reserve a third of their holiday budget for shopping, the European Travel Commission estimates and 95 percent of Chinese visitors of Louis Vuitton shops in Paris are on organised tours, according to Euromonitor.
Hotels in the Middle East are locating within or beside shopping malls to take advantage of the trend and nine major malls are due for completion across the region between 2012 and 2014. One of these, Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, will be home to seven hotels.
After experiencing a 10 percent fall in tourism last year during the fallout from the Arab Spring, 2012 is promising to end with positive growth for the Middle East. This is forecast to continue into 2013 and beyond.
Indian travellers are helping a tourism boom in the Gulf by heading in large numbers to the region's souks to purchase precious metals for wedding gifts and investment.
Although the report maintains that
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