Middle Eastern tourists are among the largest consumers in the world

first_imgThe four Middle Eastern countries whose travelers spend the most on travel In the latest research of Skift called “Outgoing trips of the countries of the Middle East in 2019”, a detailed overview of this market is provided. The report begins with an overview of the size of the market and the growth forecast of the region as a whole, as well as the characteristics of individual countries. The research then focuses on the key factors that study what drives international travel in the region and the consumer behavior trends that shape their travel-related preferences. Finally, some of the case studies of global tourism brands and destinations implementing strategic initiatives to conquer part of this market are covered. Average government spending per visit to the United Kingdom Consumption per outbound trip Average consumption per outbound trip Source / photo: Skift Looking at the largest consumers from that region at the country level, the dominance of the Middle East is again noticeable. The four GCC countries, which we wrote about earlier, also show very high spending per visit, as shown by VisitBritain data, with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia leading in spending. The average cost of outbound travel for residents of the three Middle Eastern countries is over $ 3.000. Research estimates Skift Research show that this is $ 1.100 more than the average consumption of American travelers. Due to the great wealth of the region, travel expenses of travelers from the Middle East are higher compared to other countries and regions. In 2017, average spending per outbound trip was $ 1.551, which is more than spending in the UK and Germany, two large outbound markets globally. Travelers of this lucrative market are happy to visit international destinations and are prone to long journeys. All in all, they have all the components that a target destination market should have worldwide. Certain destination marketing organizations have noted similar trends when visiting Middle Eastern travelers to their destinations. Data from the UK’s VisitBritain tourist board, for example, reveals that travelers from the Middle East in the UK spent an average of $ 2.040 per visit, compared to $ 1.579 for Asian travelers and $ 1.091 for North American travelers. Passengers from the three Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries spent an average of more than $ 3.000 per outbound trip. By comparison, U.S. travelers spend an average of about $ 1.900 a year. Average consumption of the regions per visit to the United Kingdomlast_img read more

When Watto, Wahab waged World Cup war

first_imgIT spanned just three-and-half overs at its zenith, but Wahab Riaz’s fire-breathing battle with Shane Watson amidst a gripping quarter-final at Adelaide Oval remains, for many, the defining contest of the 2015 World Cup.Largely unheard of in Australia before the tournament began, left-armer Wahab regularly clocked speeds of around 150kph as Pakistan tried desperately to defend a sub-par total of 213 and then Watson hung tough after his team lost early wickets to teeter at 3-59.Wahab had accounted for two of those prized scalps – opener David Warner who sliced a catch to third man and skipper Michael Clarke after fending a fizzing bouncer to short mid-wicket – but the fuse for the fight with Watson had effectively been lit hours earlier.That was when Wahab was using his not-insubstantial batting skills – he had posted an unbeaten half-century against Zimbabwe earlier in the tournament – to help rescue Pakistan from their dire position of 6-158 in the sudden-death final.Having played and missed at a couple searing, swinging deliveries from fellow left-armer Mitchell Starc, Wahab was offered some advice from his Australia rival who told the Pakistan number eight “it’s the little white thing – try and hit it”.As he ruminated over that bit of chirp, Wahab was approached by Watson who had been watching his opponent’s battle to make contact from his fielding position at slip and asked, “Are you holding a bat?”`It was sufficient to get the-then 29-year-old’s hackles up, and Watson was duly reminded of his own hubris from the moment he scratched his guard on the hard and true Adelaide pitch.“When he came in to bat, I settled the score with him,” Wahab later recalled.“When I was batting Watson just came up to me and said ‘are you holding a bat?’ and that was going through my mind.“I let him know that even he had a bat, but he couldn’t touch the ball.“I know that … he’s not good on the short ball, so it was a plan that we discussed in the team meeting.”Wahab’s first ball to the Australia veteran was a snorter that flashed past the grille of Watson’s protective helmet, and saw the fired-up fast bowler follow-through to finish alongside the batter from where he theatrically applauded.The next one was fuller and Watson wisely allowed it to pass by, but it yielded another round of mocking claps from Wahab who, by this time, had the 30 000-plus crowd roaring as the game hung in the balance.It wasn’t only the paying spectators and television viewers around the world who found themselves absorbed in the uncompromising contest.Watching from the comparative safety of the non-striker’s end, having already helped himself to a run-a-ball 24, was Australia’s most influential and in-form batter, Steve Smith.“I was actually loving it, up at the other end,” Smith told cricket.com.au this week.“I don’t think I ever really faced two balls in a row against him (Wahab), I just kept hitting it off my hip and getting one, or finding a way to get a single and get down to the other end.“He bowled very quick, with some short stuff, and he was fired up.“I remember thinking ‘jeez how good is this?’ and Watto’s like ‘yeah no worries, you keep getting down the other end’.”While Smith also received his share of chin music from Wahab, the focus of the frenetic spell was Watson who found more than half the 21 deliveries flung at him to be short-pitched with a large proportion of those zeroing in on his head and shoulders.But it was the eleventh of them which should have decided the skirmish, and quite feasibly the match.With Australia 3-83, Watson (on four) parried a defensive pull shot high into the air and directly into the hands of Rahat Ali at deep backward-square who briefly held Pakistan’s 2015 World Cup fate in his grasp, before it spilled out and bobbled across the Adelaide outfield.“A bit of luck went my way to get through that spell,” Watson later conceded.“He was bowling good pace, but also the (left-arm) angle … it was hard to be able to try and get my head out of the way.“It kept following me.“We knew he was a danger man, he had his tail up and he bowled some nasty balls on the money … a lot of them.”It was as much the unnerving line of attack that Wahab was able to find from over the wicket at the Riverbank End as it was the pace and hostility of his spell that saw it enter World Cup folklore.Clarke had witnessed similar firepower unleashed barely a year earlier when Mitchell Johnson scythed through England in the second Ashes Test of what would eventually yield a 5-0 whitewash, and he saw similarities with Wahab on that early autumn evening.“That’s as good as I’ve faced in one-day cricket for a long time,” Clarke said at game’s end, after Watson had carried Australia to victory with an unbeaten 64 that included the winning runs.“(It) probably gave us a good look at what it would have been like to face Mitchell Johnson throughout the Ashes.“Left-arm is always extra tough for a right-handed batsman because the angle of the ball is at your body the whole time, and he (Wahab) didn’t bowl too many bouncers that weren’t on the money.”As it transpired, the dropped catch not only effectively emboldened Watson, but also diminished Wahab.Having pushed himself to the limit to get through Australia’s number five and into the home team’s lower-middle order, he continued for a further two overs but his pace began to flag and his accuracy suffered as fatigue set in.A final indignity came with Australia 4-154 and requiring less than three per over for victory when Wahab returned for his second spell and forced Glenn Maxwell to miscue a ramp shot only for another chance to be squandered by Sohail Khan at third-man.From there, Watson and Maxwell thrashed the remaining 62 runs from less than six overs to carry their team into a semi-final against India and, three days after that, the final that brought an emphatic seven-wicket win over New Zealand.“It was an unbelievable spell of fast bowling,” James Faulkner, man-of-the-match in the showpiece final at the MCG, said of Wahab’s spell this week.“He should have had Watto with the dropped catch at fine leg, and it could have gone either way at the end of the game because it was so close in that period. “That was a bit of a ‘get out of jail’ game for us.“And a bit of a shake-up that we needed, to be tested like that before the next two games.”In the aftermath of that quarter-final, Wahab was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for his overt aggression towards Watson, while the Australian had his pay packed lightened by 15 per cent for responding to his opponent’s taunts.The ICC’s ruling led former West Indies great Brian Lara to offer to pay both men’s penalties for what he considered to be over-zealous policing of the sort of on-field confrontation that fans craved.“We need this in a sport that people are running away from, especially 50-over cricket,” Lara said. “I loved the exchange. “It was above board as far as I’m concerned, and I can’t wait to meet him – I want to meet with this Riaz guy. I’ll pay the fine.”Watson and Wahab have since revisited their rivalry numerous times, most recently in a Pakistan Super League match between the Australian’s Quetta Gladiators and his foe’s Peshawar Zalmi at Rawalpindi earlier this month.And for all the verbal jousting and pantomime histrionics squeezed into their on-field feud, the pair exchanged back slaps and handshakes after an epic game that paved Australia’s way to a World Cup as well as ensuring Wahab Riaz became a known figure throughout the cricket world.“That was one of the best spells I have ever bowled,” Wahab reflected.“After he (Watson) had won the game for Australia, we hugged and congratulated each other.“I said to him at that point of time ‘you took the game away from us’.“There is no doubt that the way he played – most of the time he was under pressure – but he held his nerve and took the Australian team to the semi-final.“He is one of the players I really admire and like.” (Cricket.com,au)last_img