Saturday, February 24, 2024

Airport lounges remain popular in region, says report

98per cent of respondents to a survey in Saudi Arabia and 95 per cent in the UAE have accessed airport lounges in the past, said Collinson, a global leader in the provision of traveler experiences, in a new report.

Furthermore, Priority Pass, the original and market-leading airport lounge and travel experiences program, owned and operated by Collinson, has a strong reputation in both the UAE and the KSA. In this view, 76 per cent of UAE and 66 per cent of KSA respondents are aware of Priority Pass. The research saw the same results for  LoungeKey – a Collinson proposition designed specifically for payment cards, enabling banks to provide their customers with a seamless airport experience globally.

The survey also examined how travelers in the UAE and KSA perceive travel rewards and benefits, as well as how valuable airport lounge benefits are when offered by their card providers. Interestingly, 80 per cent of KSA and 76 per cent of UAE travelers said they would use a card more often if it offered travel rewards or benefits.

The three most popular travel benefits among respondents in the UAE are loyalty rewards (62 per cent), airport lounge access (58 per cent), and frequent flyer rewards (56 per cent). The findings in the KSA are remarkably similar, with loyalty rewards (58 per cent), frequent flyer rewards (57 per cent), and airport lounge access (55 per cent)

Access to an airport lounge in the case of a flight delay, as well as personal identity fraud protection, are also within the top five benefits available to cardholders. Collinson’s solutions can help address both. As airport delays and disruptions can be exhausting and frustrating, SmartDelay turns flight delay stress into ‘lounge rest’. Collinson’s identity protection solution, ID Sentry, offers travelers full assistance with protecting their identities at all times, anywhere in the world, and on all devices.

Customer retention through elevated travel experiences
While travel benefits can help retain customers, research reveals that more than a third of respondents in both the UAE and the KSA would gladly switch to a new card provider for a more premium, digitally enabled, and flawless travel experiences.

Collinson continues to push the boundaries of travel experiences by introducing new innovative solutions to the market, tailored to the more demanding travelers of the new era. The CarTrawler offering is one of those services that adds value for Priority Pass customers particularly those who appreciate the comfort and convenience of a seamless end-to-end travel experience.

Priyanka Lakhani, Senior Vice-President at Collinson, stated: “As a significant number of cardholders are open to using more products and services from their everyday card provider, now is the time to capitalize on this opportunity and double down on proactively expanding and providing more comprehensive solutions. Offering travel benefits on a credit or charge card not only enhances the cardholder experience but also drives transaction revenue, as almost three out of four customers (78 per cent in the KSA and 74 per cent in the UAE) would use them for travel-related spending.”

The travel ecosystem is already making a comeback after a disruptive event that has impacted every industry. Travelers are again taking to the skies for business, leisure, and even bleisure. UNWTO World Tourism Barometer shows a 182 per cent year-on-year rise in international tourism for the first quarter of 2022, with destinations worldwide welcoming an estimated 117 million international arrivals compared to 41 million in the first quarter of 2021.

UAE travelers have taken an average of four return trips in 2021, representing a 67 per cent recovery from their pre-pandemic average of six. In KSA, travelers averaged eight return trips in a typical pre-pandemic year (2019) and took an average of five return trips in 2021, representing a 63 per cent recovery.

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