COVID-19 vaccines, probably the most talked about topic of the year. Whether it be in news, gossip or chat rooms; this is one topic that you could not easily miss or avoid. If 2020 was known to be the year of COVID, then 2021 has definitely been the year of the vaccine; and whether you have had the opportunity to take it or are waiting for your appointment or simply waiting to see how it affects others before making your mind up; you like us must have seen, read, interacted or posted about it on social media. Earlier this year, we investigated which topics / conversations were driving the vaccine twitter storm and noticed a growing interest towards the travel and tourism industry. As we progress with 2021, interest is slowly starting to shift. It is time for the business and economy takeover.
The vaccination conversation has continued its elevated growth through April 2021; and while March was rather quiet, April has seen the conversation grow back up again.
Interestingly, when looking at this growth by market, we notice that Kuwait saw the biggest increase between March and April, which directly correlates to the introduction of the vaccine to non-Kuwaitis residents. Meanwhile, the UAE attributed to the growth to a lesser scale, as the number of UAE citizens and residents getting vaccinated continues to increase, and the biggest market, Saudi has not seen much change from previous months, and the conversation there remains constant.
Saudi talks business.
When reporting on this earlier in February, we saw the travel and tourism topic take over the conversation across all three of our analysed markets; however, things have changed.
With over 701k tweets (+135% since February 2021) published by 88K different twitter accounts from the UAE, KSA and Kuwait; the majority were related to general concerns and enquiries.
Only 4% (27k tweets) of the conversation had mentions of specific topics like travel.
Saudi has always been the biggest market in the GCC and Saudi twitter is the gift that keeps giving. No one mentions the vaccine more than Saudi, and while it used to be associated with travel, things have changed since the beginning of March.
The economy and business topics have started to take over the vaccination conversation in KSA and the growth has been skyrocketing since then.
A shift in Emirati interest.
More than half of the UAE’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Now that’s remarkable.
Similarly, with this growth of interest in getting vaccinated, comes a growth in twitter mentions. When visiting this data back in February, the UAE associated the vaccination with travel; however, in similar fashion to what we noticed in KSA, and since the beginning of March, the interest has shifted towards business and the economy.
The Kuwaiti growth.
Kuwait saw the biggest growth in the conversation across all three markets and naturally, this resulted in a growth in all of the industries mentioned.
While the UAE and KSA have shifted their interest towards the economy and business; Kuwait continues to associate the vaccine with travel & tourism.
Implications to business.
The situation is ever changing and the pandemic has put us on edge, forcing us to keep an eye out on everything – literally all the time.
With things continuously changing at a fast pace, and with interest towards business and the economy on an all-time high, although consumers are cooling on the idea of travel after the rush of vaccines, the region is increasingly optimistic about the future economy and is tuning into business on the home front.