Tourism: Which Middle East cities top the interest of influential travel bloggers?

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Today, we wanted to look at influential travel bloggers around the world and see how much they wrote about Middle East tourist destinations in 2016. The top bloggers contain names like Nomadic Matt  (1 mil website hits per month) written by Matthew Kepnes, Expert Vagabond (460K website hits per month) written by Matthew Karsten, Hand Luggage Only (296K hits per month) by Yaya and Lloyd.  We monitored Twitter and Facebook pages of some 50 such bloggers for full year of 2016.

Ten tourist destinations cities from the region that we wanted to profile are:-

Tel Aviv (Israel), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Dubai (UAE), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Doha (Qatar), Istanbul (Turkey), Manama (Bahrain), Petra (Jordan), Cairo (Egypt), Beirut (Lebanon)

Here’s what we found.TWEETS ON TEN MIDDLE EAST tourist destination CITIES MADE BY TOP TRAVEL BLOGGERS IN YEAR 2016

 

Not so surprisingly, Dubai topped the list with the top bloggers having made 561 posts on Dubai collectively. Istanbul (278), Doha/Qatar (186),  Tel Aviv (106) and Abu Dhabi (99) follow. Manama and Riyadh weren’t talked about at all. Of course this is only a set of 50 bloggers that we put together.

TIMELINE OF TWEETS ON TEN MIDDLE EAST tourist destination CITIES MADE BY TOP TRAVEL BLOGGERS IN YEAR 2016

In Public Relations and Communications, we know it is important to get placed in top newspapers and even being spoken about by influencers in the industry.  The tourism authorities or organisers of events in these cities can benefit from building various lists of travel editors of newspapers, travel bloggers (like in this case), travel magazine publishers. It will be beneficial to not just build these lists, but profile the authors, understand their interests, track how often they write about the cities or events and plan to reach out to these journalists and bloggers at the correct time.

Connection to tourist arrivals

We were curious to see if there is any relationship between the number of posts made by the top bloggers and the tourists arriving at these cities. Here’s what we found when we tried to co-relate them.

correlation between tourists visiting CITIES and posts made by top bloggers on the cities (Y2016, ME CITIES)There is a strong correlation (R-squared = 0.9) between number of posts made by these top bloggers and tourist arrivals. This could simply mean top tourist destinations are more exciting for travel influencers to visit often and blog about. But it could also mean that when influencers, in this case, top bloggers write for travel sections of newspapers – write about locations or events happening in these cities, they can send more visitors to these cities. On some day, we will look at the editors of travel sections of news publishers, the reach of these news publishers and do a similar analysis and publish the results.

The following are the tourist numbers that we used for this analysis.  The numbers mainly come from official sources and media reports.

no. of Tourists to middle east destinations in year 2016

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