Hotels throughout the Middle East region are preparing to capitalise on the pent-up global demand for workations, driven in the main by the social restrictions imposed by governments across the world over the past 10 months.
According to research conducted as well as commissioned by Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) , many travel experts are expecting a surge in workations during this year and beyond, a trend that was apparent in 2019, but one which now has such pent-up demand due to the coronavirus travel restrictions.
Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market, which will take place live at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) May 16-19, said, “The hotel industry in the Middle East has gradually started to recover, especially in places such as Dubai. Staycations created the initial demand after lockdown, the next step has been the continued growth of workations, which are also referred to as bleisure stays, which tend to bring in more visitors from overseas.”
Fueling this growth are companies like Facebook, Twitter and Spotify which have announced that employees can work from home indefinitely, leading many experts to predict that these digital professionals are likely to work remotely, whilst still connecting safely and securely with their physical offices.
“Longer term, the ‘on the go’ executive will be a far more common sight in hotels, whether it’s Gen Z singletons, millennial professionals, or freelancers who can earn a living from a laptop,” added Curtis.
With over 50 percent of the world’s working population doing so from home and the rise of entrepreneurial digital nomads who prefer to work remotely, the popularity of workations will only increase.
This will alleviate the boredom of living and working from home, even after the pandemic has finally been eradicated and obviously in the short term, it will provide much needed revenue to not only hotels but the travel trade in general, not to mention government coffers.
“Covid-19 has completely disrupted the traditional office culture and the hospitality sector has been quick to offer alternative solutions for those looking to combine working from home with leisure time. The introduction of the workation concept is not just a novel idea, it’s about making adjustments to meet the new market demands, allowing those who are not currently working from their office to enjoy a luxury hospitality experience whilst continuing their work commitments,” said Mark Kirby, COO, Emaar Hospitality.