First Look: HBX Group's MarketHub Europe 2024

First Look: HBX Group's MarketHub Europe 2024

From Gen Z, to full recovery, and top destinations in Europe and Middle East

MarketHub Europe, the industry delivered by HBX Group, shared key insights into current travel trends and market growth on the first day in Istanbul, Turkey.

The group's senior leaders took to the stage to deliver keynotes and panels on challenges faced by the sector, the need to balance technological advances with sustainability and ethical considerations.

Content also explored the potential impact of technology on travel experiences, alongside new business opportunities.

Its executive team were joined by representatives from tourism and technology companies, some of which are its partners.

Key highlights included insight into the constant evolution of travellers' habits, with a special focus on European and Middle Eastern destinations.

Carlos Muñoz, chief commercial officer of HBX Group, highlighted the increasingly important role of Gen Z and their consumer habits in defining travel trends.

He said: "With a clear focus on last-minute bookings and a preference for package tours, Generation Z is already reshaping the way the industry operates. 

"In addition, their high awareness of sustainability clearly shapes their travel choices."

HBX Group has registered a 25% increase in searches on its platforms, now totalling 5.6 billion per day. 

Globally, Europe remains one of the leading inbound and outbound markets, while the Middle East continues to grow.

Elsewhere, trends found that globally, the United States and Spain stood out as two of the main traveller receptors, with London, Paris, New York, Dubai and Barcelona as the cities experiencing the highest demand. 

Although all regions have experienced growth in bookings compared to 2023, China and Japan stand out notably.

Europe consolidated its position as a destination after the pandemic. The continent achieved an increase of more than 60% in bookings as a destination compared to 2019. 

Spain and Italy are two of the most popular countries, with most travellers choosing Europe arriving from United Kingdom, United States, Germany, and Spain.

London, Paris, and Rome continue to be the favourite cities and the average stay is 3 nights, with a growing trend of 1-to-3-day bookings. 

Among the fastest growing destinations are the Balearic and Canary Islands.  

Middle East: the relevance of last-minute bookings

Markets such as the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and France continue to be key outbound markets for tourism to the region. Its data revealed that last-minute bookings are crucial in this market, where they account for more than 40% of the total.

The average stay is around 3 nights, and Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Mecca are among the most popular destinations. 

Among the top ten favourites, Doha shows up as one of the fastest growing options.

Turkey, the host nation for the conference, saw Antalya and Istanbul as the most popular destinations.

According to the data from HBX Group, the main source market for Turkey - aside from domestic tourism - is the Middle East and, from Europe, Germany is particularly strong.

Bookings made by travellers from Turkey have grown by more than 50% compared to 2019 and already exceed the bookings recorded last year. 

Among the most popular choices are domestic destinations, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France in Europe, as well as the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East.