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Published on : Thursday, May 26, 2016
Tourism spending has slowed down in the UAE with stronger US dollars, cheap oil prices and bullish economic outlook. The tourism spending has gone down by 6 per cent in the Q1 of 2016 according to Network International’s latest report on consumer card spend.
However domestic credit and debit card spends in the country has increased by 12 per cent and spending from the cards issued in the other GCC countries rose 3 per cent. The overall card spend was up 7 per cent during the period under review.
E-commerce spending has gone up by 27 percent, this trend of spending shows the changing shopping preferences of travellers who prefer to shop online from the destination instead of going physically to the destination year after year. Top international card spending growth came from the MEA region including Saudi Arabia (+31%), Egypt (+29%) and Qatar (+27%).
Less Chinese tourists are keen on visiting the UAE; the drop has been by 26 percent compared to last year, Russian tourists dropped by 24 percent. On a regional basis, card spending from Europe and North America recorded a drop of 3 and 5 per cent respectively. On the other hand Finland showed a 28 per cent rise and the UK and Ireland a 15 per cent increase showed positive growth in terms of card spend.
The luxury retail market took the largest hit with a decline in card spends of 15 per cent resulting significantly due to the decline in Chinese (52 per cent) and Russian (42 per cent) spending in this sector.
There was also a significant decline in spends by the US (32%) and Saudi Arabia (29%) card holders as well but a modest decrease in domestic card spending of 5 per cent softened the impact overall, it added.
Card spending from the UK in the hospitality sector spiked upwards by 17 per cent. Card spend in the hotel industry both overall and domestic went down by 3 percent in Q1 with a 10 percent decline in an average per purchase spend.