Looking after their health and fitness is of huge importance to travellers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia when they go on holiday, with nine in ten (92% of people from the UAE and 91% of people from Saudi Arabia) proactively working out when they go away. The new research, from travel loyalty programme Marriott Bonvoy, found that travellers from the UAE and Saudi Arabia prioritise fitness when they go on holiday, considering half of those (58% of people from the UAE and 50% of people from Saudi Arabia) don’t even normally work out at home.
Looking after their mental health is the biggest driver for working out for the majority of people. Nearly half (46% of people from the UAE and 48% of people from Saudi Arabia) agree that exercise on holiday is good for their mental wellbeing and helps them to return home in a better state of mind, and a third (31% of people from the UAE and 27% of people from Saudi Arabia) believe it allows them to spend time alone and prioritise their self-care. As a result, a quarter of all people from the Middle East (26% of people from the UAE and 24% of people from Saudi Arabia) always make a conscious effort to work out on holiday so that their fitness regime doesn’t get disrupted.
It seems that travellers from the UAE and Saudi Arabia like to indulge on holiday too, with two fifths (43% of people from the UAE and 44% of people from Saudi Arabia) exercising because they feel they need to burn off the extra calories they consume while away.
Nearly half of all travellers from the Middle East (43% of people from the UAE and 45% of people from Saudi Arabia) feel unfit if they don’t workout and over a quarter (26% of people from the UAE and 28% of people from Saudi Arabia) feel guilty. Furthermore, over a third (36% of people from both the UAE and Saudi Arabia) feel overweight when they return home if they don’t exercise while away.
In order to make it easy and efficient for travellers to workout, whether on holiday or travelling for work, Marriott Bonvoy has partnered with FitnessOnDemand™, a worldwide leader in on-demand fitness and wellness content for hotels, hospitality, and fitness clubs. The partnership offers members free access to a range of virtual fitness classes that people can access from the comfort of their hotel room, the beach, the pool or the hotel gym, either online or via the FitnessOnDemand™ app.
Despite the best of intentions, four fifths of people from the Middle East (85% of people from the UAE and 77% of people from Saudi Arabia) who exercise on holiday have suffered a workout faux pas. A quarter (25% of people from the UAE and 26% of people from Saudi Arabia) have suffered from heat stroke when exercising in the sun and over a quarter (26% of people from the UAE and 21% of people from Saudi Arabia) have got lost when going for a run or cycle in the local area. Furthermore, a quarter (26% of people from the UAE and 24% of people from Saudi Arabia) have felt uncomfortable in an unfamiliar gym, and 20% of people in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have been worried about embarrassing themselves as they didn’t know how to use the gym equipment.
When it comes to travellers' most popular form of exercise on holiday, going for a run around the local town takes the pole position (40% of people in the UAE and 44% of people from Saudi Arabia). More than a fifth (23% of people from the UAE and 28% of people from Saudi Arabia) would like to take up yoga but don’t feel they are able to, possibly because they don’t have access while away.
Neal Jones, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Marriott International - Europe, Middle East & Africa: “The link between exercise and looking after our mental wellbeing is well established and it’s great to see that people from the the UAE and Saudi Arabia aren’t letting this drop when they go on holiday. In fact more people are taking up exercise on their holidays and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to do so. That’s why we’re delighted to offer our members free access to FitnessOnDemand™, so that they can workout from the comfort of their hotel room whenever it suits them. Plus, they can take part in classes like meditation that they may not have tried before and come back completely refreshed.”
Marriott Bonvoy Members will be offered a seven-day access of the FitnessOnDemand™ workout platform every time they stay at a participating hotel. Over 450 hotels and resorts across Europe, Middle East & Africa are offering this new Marriott Bonvoy member exclusive benefit. The programme can be used in the hotel room, by the pool, on the beach and in some hotel’s fitness facilities, giving full flexibility.
“It’s easier when you are travelling to stay on track with your fitness goals when you feel a class or a workout is familiar and similar to the activities you enjoy in your own gym,” said Uday Anumalachetty, Divisional Vice President, FitnessOnDemand. “Members at participating hotels can now access any one of hundreds of core-strength, cardio and specialty classes that feel just like the classes they take at home, making it quick, easy and painless to press play and workout.”
To enroll in Marriott Bonvoy and discover how to blend travel with staying on track with exercise visit Marriott.com/FitnessOnDemand.
To access FitnessOnDemand™, members simply scan a QR code provided by the hotel, complete their registration details to receive a verification email and connect online or via the app.