Flight booking rates from Saudi increase by 80%

The rates of believed to have increased due to the lack of domestic tourism

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The flight booking rates by Saudi families who desire to spend their mid-semester holidays outside the Saudi kingdom have increased by 80% in the past two weeks.

Maya Halfawi, an official from the Jeddah International Exhibition for Tourism and Travel said on Monday that the rates have increased due to the lack of domestic tourism and higher prices at home.

The daily Okaz quoted some investors in the travel industry as saying that the top Saudi tourist destination will be Dubai, adding that official data shows that the number of Saudi tourists in Dubai increased to 1.54 million during 2015.

According to employees in the travel and tourism sector, Saudi tourists travel to closer countries when the holidays are short and do not exceed one week while they go to Malaysia, east Asian countries, Europe and the US on long holidays.

Khaled al-Abboud, member of the tourism committee of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that Saudis would not find it easy to book a ticket to Dubai during this time of year as it’s one of the most attractive tourist spots during short school vacations.

“Other Saudis, particularly those in Riyadh and the eastern region, prefer to travel to Bahrain or Oman during short holidays that are only few days,” Abboud said.

He added that official data by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai confirms that last year, Saudi Arabia topped the table of Dubai’s leading tourism source market from among Gulf Cooperation Council countries while it came in second in terms of global markets.

The article was first published on the Arabic website of Al Arabiya News Channel on March 14, 2015.

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