11 June 2023 (Riyadh) New Google commissioned research into consumer behavior in Saudi Arabia revealed growing interest in local tourism and expressions of pride in Saudi culture and heritage. The insights, that aim to help businesses have a greater understanding of their customers, were revealed at the Google Marketing Live event in Riyadh, a flagship event showcasing Google’s latest ads product innovations.
An analysis conducted by IPSOS and commissioned by Google, found that people in Saudi Arabia are diversifying expressions of pride in local culture and heritage; with 54% of those surveyed indicating that they express their pride by buying and using locally made products. The survey also found that over half of those surveyed attended local cultural events and almost 60% have traveled domestically for leisure purposes, reflecting a growing interest in local tourism.
The most popular local destinations were Abha, Neom and Taif, with a quarter of respondents saying they choose destinations based on the beauty of natural landscapes.
At the same time, there is a growing interest in local entertainment events. For example, more than 54% attended Saudi Seasons Festivals and 62% are likely to visit again next year. On the other hand, there seems to be a growing interest in music events and while only 48% attended the Jeddah World Festival, almost 60% said they are likely to visit it again over the next year.
Saudi consumers are also increasingly socially conscious - with 55% saying they will only buy brands that are socially responsible and 57% saying they would pay more for environmentally responsible products. Moreover, 52% mentioned youth skills development as the most important cause businesses should contribute to.
Commenting on the survey findings, Charbel Sarkis, Director of Saudi Arabia and MENA Retail at Google said “The research reflects Saudi consumers' enthusiasm in supporting local businesses and tourism. We also see growing global interest in Saudi Arabia as a travel destination. In fact, according to Google data, global searches for Saudi Arabia as a travel destination increased by over 160% in 2022. We hope that these insights and Google's different tools can help advertisers to connect with their audience and to grow their business'.
The survey findings are in line with trends seen around the globe as more people look to support local tourism and urge businesses to become more socially and environmentally responsible.