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Saudi Arabia’s social media usage has skyrocketed, according to Global Media Insights, and the country is now known as the Middle East’s most prominent social media market.

Because of the widespread use of smartphones, locals are using social apps more frequently, especially between 2020 and 2021. Statistics show that social media usage increased by 8%, with Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook seeing the most significant increases.

The country’s social media engagements are influenced by religious, political, and cultural factors. These factors impact Saudi citizens’ use of social media platforms in various situations, which enables them to communicate and connect more effectively and increase user participation.

So what are the latest trends in the Kingdom, and how can brands learn from this behaviour?

We uncovered the Kingdom’s latest online trends after deep-diving into KSA’s latest digital behaviour. Our findings are based on the Hootsuite and We Are Social KSA Digital 2021 report, Euromonitor’s Digital Consumer in Saudi Arabia report, global statistics and many more.

TREND 1: Create Content Using Local Dialect, Local Influencers and Geography of Saudi Arabia

Young Saudis are beginning to showcase their hidden talents on all social media platforms as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia grows. According to Motivate Media Group’s case study “Campaign Saudi Report June 2021,” Saudi Arabian influencers have one of the highest local follower fan bases among GCC countries, ranging from 50 to 60 %. Local Saudis are incredibly proud of their homegrown talent, believing them to be the authentic voice of their country and themselves.

After carefully studying the online behaviour patterns of Saudi influencers and local content creators, we discovered they place a high value on providing relatable and real content to their fan base. Instead of uber-polished Instagram posts, young Saudis prefer to share unfiltered and realistic content on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.

To approach a local Saudi online, we learned they prefer advertisements delivered to them in their native language by someone they know rather than some famous “nobody.”

TREND 2: Where There Is Gaming There Is a Saudi Watching

Did you know that the Saudi gaming market has one of the most significant yearly growth rates in the world, at 22 %. With more than 21.2 million players across the country, the Kingdom is currently the world’s 19th largest gaming market, growing at a rate of 41.1% every year.

Gaming influencers have a sizable Generation Z audience who will watch their streams for hours on end. Brands in the gaming industry are eager to collaborate with these content creators because of their close ties to young audiences.

However, before you begin advertising and practising product placement, you should first assess your target audience. Rather than simply adopting a direct selling strategy, the goal is to positively impact the gaming community, engage with it, and connect with it.

TREND 3: Calling Out All KSA Shopaholics of All Ages

Whether you are 15 or 50, online shopping in the KSA is booming at an intense speed. According to a recent study conducted by global statistics, Saudi Arabia has 39.53 million mobile connections, accounting for 112.7 % of the country’s total population.

Shopping apps like Amazon.sa, Namshi, Shein, Noon, Ajmall, and many others are used by up to 67.7% of the population. All businesses must be present on all platforms, virtually everywhere in Saudi Arabia, because all customers are currently online and shopping.

Brands must evaluate and be critical in determining how to create a strategic approach to reach out to their audience while staying current with the latest trends and consumer needs in the marketplace to optimize customer journeys online.

With all eyes on Saudi Arabia’s government, a slew of subsequent changes, adjustments, bureaucratic reorganizations, and regulatory changes are transforming public life. It’s a place where all types of businesses can thrive while also connecting with a diverse group of people eager to learn and grow.

Are you curious about the latest trends and online behaviour in the Kingdom? Contact us, and we’ll make sure your marketing meets KSA’s high standards.

References:
Global Media InsightGlobal StatisticsData ReportalSocialize AgencyXpress RiyadhMotivate Publishing

British attitudes towards travel and tourism have changed almost beyond recognition in recent months. As successive lockdowns have bitten into the national psyche, a series of meta-trends that were emerging pre-Covid have come to the fore. At the same time, the pandemic has itself created new ones. The biggest change? A renewed love for The British Staycation.

When the first national lockdown eased in the UK between June and July 2020, millions of Britons in need of a summer getaway were faced with the challenge of finding holiday destinations much closer to home.

According to Britain’s Office for National Statistics, there were 93.1 million overseas visits by UK residents in 2019, spending a mind boggling £62.3 billion, an increase of 7% compared with 2018. Had that trend continued, foreign travel might have outweighed domestic tourist spend entirely.

But this does not mean that £62.3 billion has gone straight into domestic tourism in 2021.

Domestic tourism forecasts for 2021

At time of writing, the ONS hadn’t released its 2020 data. But VisitBritain put together a provisional outline of the impact of Covid on domestic tourism in England from other data sources – and included forecasts for 2021.

“We have forecast a central scenario for England of £28.5 billion in domestic tourism spending in 2020, down 63% compared to 2019 when spending by domestic tourists in England was £75.9 billion,” the organisation reported.

“In total, this represents a loss of £47.5 billion (£11.7 billion from overnights and £35.8 billion from leisure day trips). The 2020 forecast is for a decline of 60% for overnights and 63% for leisure day trips, although with a different pattern of recovery. While some categories of day trips started to recover first, others are still very limited.”

The impact of regional and national lockdowns has clearly been felt. But within the gloomy reading, the shift to staycations over foreign travel is coming down the road as clear as day itself.

What happens in England is likely to be mirrored in the devolved nations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and in every developed country where Covid-19 remains riskily high.

For further insights, see our full Amplify Travel & Tourism eBook here. To speak to Emma, contact her via LinkedIn here or email her at [email protected].

With a Covid-19 vaccine in sight for many people, teams could reasonably be expected to return to the office in the foreseeable future. But a move back to company HQ seems destined to fail if insisted upon too early in the recovery cycle.

It may also just be unnecessary. Firms like Fujitsu and Twitter have already announced plans to make remote work a permanent option, even after the pandemic. Global enterprises are deciding the path that they want to take to avoid staff irritation and confusion down the road.

Long-Term Travel – A Staff Incentive

The collision of technology and our personal desires is opening new avenues that are far flung from old-fashioned ideas about working from home.

With global restrictions almost impossible to predict, short-term travel continues to be difficult. But employees that feel a longer-term escape will benefit their professional focus and overall well-being are finding a new receptivity among progressive employers wanting to give talented individuals the space to find their place in the pandemic world.

Singles and couples that want to escape the same four walls they have inhabited since the beginning of the global lockdown are actively being given the opportunity to do so.

Travel has previously been seen as a potent employment incentive for a global workforce. Now it is a ‘travel-plus-living-in-the-place-you-want-to-work-from-for-a-while’ incentive.

This change has been driven partially by consistent access to the internet. Society already needed a cultural shift away from ‘presentism’ in the office. Although it took a global pandemic to do it, that shake up has happened. With a decent Wi-Fi connection and some initiative, a huge number of people in computer-based roles can get a day’s work done wherever they choose to be.

Working From Anywhere

A survey of 1,123 remote workers by The Times and Morning Consult found that:

  • 86% were satisfied working from home
  • Only 1 in 5 said they wanted to go back to the office full-time
  • 40% said they were taking more walks and breaks
  • 33% said they were exercising more

It seems safe to say that WFH works. But for me, the most telling statistic in this report actually related to the new WFA paradigm. One in three people contacted for the survey said they would “move to a new city or state if remote work continued indefinitely.”

In a world which increasingly seems crammed together, the future of business could be just the opposite: A chance to get out.

For further insights, see our full Amplify Travel & Tourism eBook here. To speak to Jamie, contact him via LinkedIn here.

Globetrender’s recent survey of 2,000 regular business travellers found that despite the increase in video-calling, the majority of people still believe that face-to-face meetings are preferable.

It’s our universal desire to connect with fellow humans that matters – be it for business or for pleasure. And that is why business travel will do more than survive in the long term.

The travel and hospitality sector has adapted to everything that has happened and we’ll adapt to everything that will happen ahead.

All you have to do is ask hoteliers. As Philip Chambers, General Manager at the K+K George Hotel Kensington told Amplify Travel & Tourism magazine, “We are working hard to create hospitality products that encourage the business traveller to spend more time with us. We will emerge from the current crisis with the energy and creativity which has kept it growing for more than a century.”

Themes for 2021

I look forward to travelling for business but believe that it will be less frequent and more intense. Business travellers like me will need to justify their travel for commercial, personal and ethical reasons in a way never seen before.

We will still need to meet new clients, build the foundations for future relationships, and complete complex deals and projects. But we will have to justify the business case for travel and assure our partners and families that the work cannot be done any other way – or take them with us.

We also need to think if a journey justifies the carbon footprint it creates.

Longer stays will be more popular. After the initial shock of Covid-19, we embraced working from home, spending more time with our families and getting involved with our communities. We swapped the commute for exercise and well-being – and theoretically had more time to do the things we love, because we spent less time commuting.

I think a new synthesis will emerge from all of these strands that offers business people the best of both worlds – a flexible work-world, and time to enjoy business tourism with the blessing of the companies that we work for.

For further insights, see our full Amplify Travel & Tourism ebook here. To speak to Vinnie, contact him via LinkedIn here or email him at [email protected].

Written by: Passenger |

Many of the operator TransXChange datasets already added to BODS are hosted by Passenger and linked for automatic updates. Go-Ahead subsidiary East Yorkshire, and operators Transdev and Nottingham City Transport are amongst those already using the new service.Anthony Carver-Smith, Marketing Manager at NCT comments, “When the regulations were announced there was a concern from operators that it could be a time consuming process to meet the new legislation, adding to an already full workload in delivering services. But Passenger has made compliance with the new regulations automatic for us. Each time we upload data to Passenger Cloud for our app and website it gets published straight to BODS. Simple and very effective.”

The Bus Open Data Service went live on 29 January 2020 and over the next year will become the online home of bus operator data in England. The team at Passenger has worked closely with the BODS team at the Department for Transport to enable operators to meet the new requirements.

Alex Hornby, CEO at Transdev adds, “Open data has been shown to stimulate innovation and economic growth. As a forward thinking company we understand the vital role the transport network plays in our community, now and in the future. It is great to see our colleagues at Passenger making it really straightforward for us to publish our data to the new BODS service.”

Following the passing of the Bus Services Act 2017, operators running commercial bus services and local authorities acting on behalf of bus operators must provide their timetable data by the end of 2020. Sharing fare and vehicle location data to BODS will also be required by 2021.

To find out more about how Passenger is helping operators to quickly and easily publish data on the new BODS service please get in touch.

 

Written by: Passenger |

Today sees the simultaneous launch of Beryl Bikes and Bay locations in the websites of all local bus companies: Morebus, Unibus and Yellow Buses. Yellow Buses also sees the locations made available in its smartphone app.

The project, led by Passenger and endorsed by BCP Councillors Andy Hadley (Transport portfolio holder) and Dr Felicity Rice (Environment portfolio holder), is an important step in making it easier for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole residents to easily understand the travel options available to them that don’t require a car.

Councillor Hadley comments, “As a major urban area we know we have huge congestion challenges, and limited space to build new capacity. We want to make alternative travel options more integrated and in doing so, set an example of what collaboration can achieve. If we are to address our climate emergency we must work together to make it easy to leave the car at home, especially for shorter journeys.”

The project includes several organisations working together towards a more sustainable transport network in the South East Dorset city region; BCP Council, Passenger, Beryl, Morebus (part of the Go-Ahead Group) and Yellow Buses.

When people travel more actively—using the bus, a bike or simply walking—there is a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. With increasing awareness of climate change, more people are wanting to reduce their impact on the environment. Travelling by car is responsible for 60% of all transport-related emissions, so alternatives to the car can have a huge impact on the quality of the air we breathe and free up space for those who really need to drive.

Andrew Wickham, Managing Director at Go South Coast, who operate both Morebus and Unibus, adds, “By working together with the other public transport operators, including Beryl, we can encourage more residents out of their cars.”

Passenger, whose product Passenger Cloud powers Yellow Buses website and app, was recently rated one of the best public transport apps in the UK. Based in Westbourne, Passenger is also behind the Morebus and Unibus websites – as well as a slew of operators throughout the UK.

Beryl, who launched in Bournemouth and Poole in June of 2019, have made the availability of their Beryl Bikes, accessible through a secure API, enabling organisations like Passenger to share live locations of the available Beryl Bikes and Bays. Passenger has enriched the More Bus and Yellow Bus applications with this data.

Philip Ellis, Beryl Co-Founder and CEO, comments “By joining up travel options we’re making sustainable travel an easier choice. Working with the local bus companies means that travelling by bike and bus, as part of the same journey, will become a realistic travel option for even more people.”

Passenger CEO, Tom Quay adds, “The project has given the partners a great opportunity to work closely together. With everyone at the same table we’ve been able to deliver a project quickly that has a positive impact on lots of people locally”.

You can visit the Morebus, Unibus and Yellow Buses websites or download the Yellow Buses app from the app stores, to see the Beryl Bikes and bays alongside information about the buses.