The who, where and why of Arabic student travel trends

August 10, 2021

With the Saudi market representing the largest percentage of the Arabic travel conversation in the GCC, as uncovered in our last travel article; “>GCC’s travel intent rises steadily. Who are the audiences driving the demand?”, it is no wonder that the major demographics were male youth.

Many of these ‘youth’ are students. So we went back to our insights platform, Sila, with Arabic students as our focus to uncover what, where and why Arabic students are looking to travel.

We analysed 14,766 tweets from 8.6K Arabic travellers aged 18 – 25. And 332 posts on Instagram from 100 Arabic travel creators in the same age group.

All analysis was conducted on conversations and posts in Arabic dialects.

50% of the Twitter conversations were in Saudi dialects, with the closest dialect being Egypt with less than half, at 20% of conversations.

How to connect with the student traveller?

The affinities of the Arabic student travel audience are synonymous with a young, Arabic male.

Music & comedy (Egyptian) and Saudi inspirational youth activist Ahmad Al Shugairi command over 30% of the Arabic travel audience in entertainment content, with the remainder, dispersed across gaming, pop culture, and streaming.

This audience aligns with news media on Twitter and engages with sports lifestyle content (mainly football). When it comes to travel, students mentioned Saudi Airlines and tourism in isolation on this platform.

What about the Arabic female student travellers?

As an underrepresented audience on Twitter, we looked at Instagram to glean some insight into the female student traveller. We created a panel of female travel youth creators in Sila, and analysed their audiences.

We see a shift in the contents country origin of Saudi and Egypt for male students, to UAE and Kuwait origin for female student creators.

Yet, when we look at the audience of these travel creators, the female Saudi traveller is again the most significant demographic, 36%.

The social lifestyle affinities of this audience are pretty low, but we can see category similarities related to fashion, beauty, culture, food, and design.

Creators lead female student conversations outside of Saudi, yet the largest audience is still inside Saudi, making this a central market for all Arabic student travel.

What type of students are our travellers?

We also looked at our Sila data to group bio-information of the students to find out if there were any trending study disciplines that might enhance targeting and relatability.

Some university-level education topics did group to form a targetable audience, the most prevalent of those being: medical & science students and engineering students. Other bio interests included a significant representation of gamers.

We will continue our travel article series within the ‘our thinking‘ section of our website, looking at new ways to analyse the traveller audience and gain further insights into the trends across the industry in the GCC.

If you would like specific audience data or further insights into the travel category, reach out to us directly to discuss your needs. Or sign up below for regular travel updates.

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