Middle East’s European expats tag a Spanish sojourn onto annual trip back home
Trend among European expats in the Middle East to double up on holidays over the summer period; Spain one of the most popular destinations for a ‘bonus’ holiday either side of visiting their home country
Why have one holiday when you can have two? That’s the mantra many of the Middle East’s European expats are championing, according to Preferred Hotels & Resorts, which is seeing a marked rise in the number of travellers tagging an additional summer break onto their annual trip back home to see the family.
“Analysing the booking data of our Western iPrefer members residing in the Middle East has shown that there is a growing trend for multi-stop summer holidays, with Spain topping the list of preferred stop-offs in 2016,” said Saurabh Rai, Executive Vice President, Preferred Hotels & Resorts. “On top of factoring in quality time in their home countries with friends and family, travellers are choosing to make the most of excellent flight links and great deals to add another leg to their trip.”
The world’s largest global provider of sales, marketing and distribution services to independent luxury hotels, Preferred Hotels & Resorts examined the booking behaviour of its European iPrefer members in Middle East. Enjoying instant benefits including swapping points earned for free nights, room upgrades, free Internet and priority check-in and late check-out, iPrefer members have access to 600 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences and unique hotel groups across 85 countries. This includes 28 hotels in Spain including the five-star, 84-room Monument Hotel in Barcelona, which launched in March 2016 and is home to the two-Michelin starred Restaurante Lasarte by seven-Michelin-star chef Martin Berasategui. Another new property tempting holidaymakers is the Only YOU Atocha in Madrid, which will launch in mid-July 2016, featuring 206 rooms and 14 suites with a rooftop terrace high above the buzzing Atocha district.
“It comes as no surprise that Spain is a popular choice for a rejuvenating secondary leisure break,” said Rai. “It is easily accessible, affordable and safe with guaranteed sunshine. Launching two new properties in the country this year has enabled us to accommodate the growing demand for a Spanish sojourn and our range of iPrefer benefits makes it even more financially viable for families on the move.”
Aside from being able to experience a number of impressive hotels through iPrefer, convenient flight links are helping to boost Spain’s credentials as a coveted holiday destination. Dubai-based Emirates, which flies to more than 150 destinations around the world, offers daily routes to Barcelona and Madrid; Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways connects to 10 destinations in Spain; and Qatar Airways, which also now connects to more than 150 destinations worldwide, offers non-stop flies from Doha to key Spanish cities Barcelona and Madrid.
Globally, Preferred Hotels & Resorts generated more than US$1 billion in revenues for its member hotels in 2015, a 15% improvement over the same reporting period in 2014. The company recently entered into a master partnership agreement with Katara Hospitality in Qatar to represent its standalone hotel operating division, Murwab Hotel Group. To date, the partnership has embraced four of Murwab Hotel Group’s existing luxury hotels in Qatar and Switzerland with five additional properties in London and the Middle East set to come on stream in 2018. Another recent signing incudes Nassima Royal Hotel located opposite Dubai World Trade Centre.
About Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Preferred Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest independent hotel brand, representing more than 650 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries. Through its five global collections, Preferred Hotels & Resorts connects discerning travellers to the singular luxury hospitality experience that meets their life and style preferences for each occasion. Every property within the portfolio maintains the high quality standards and unparalleled service levels required by the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Integrated Quality Assurance Program. The iPrefer™ guest loyalty programme, Preferred Residences℠, Preferred Family℠, Preferred Pride℠ and Preferred Golf™ offer valuable benefits for travellers seeking a unique experience.