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Summer travel trends reveal that Saudis are choosing to spend more on holidays

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A leading Middle east travel brand has reported growth in bookings revealing a strong appetite for consumer travel as pent-up demand is unleashed with the removal of pandemic restrictions across the world.

Saudi-based Almosafer is a fully-fledged omni-channel travel services provider.

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Data collated from across Almosafer’s booking platforms have revealed the booking behavior of Saudi travellers for this summer period, with the travel brand experiencing its best month ever for consumer travel bookings in Saudi Arabia in June 2022, with volumes exceeding pre-pandemic levels in June 2019 by 28 percent.

Saudi travellers continue to enjoy luxury experiences, opting to book stays at luxury accommodation with five-star hotels accounting for almost 50 percent of hotel bookings this summer.

As people return to travel, they are spending more money for meaningful experiences as average order values for bookings has increased by 66 percent for hotels and 19 percent for flights, compared to the summer travel season in 2019.

Travellers are also displaying resilient confidence in the travel industry as they continue to book their holidays in advance, with an average booking window of 36 days in summer 2022. With travel restrictions being eased, or removed entirely, across the world, there are now much less sudden changes to international travel rules which could jeopardise travel plans leading to growing consumer confidence.

Domestic travel trend

Spending on domestic travel in Saudi Arabia has also increased by 7 percent as Saudis continue to explore the many attractions in the Kingdom.
Abha, the culturally rich capital of the Aseer region, is becoming an increasingly popular destination this summer with bookings up by 125 percent compared to summer 2019.

For international travel, Dubai, London, Cairo, Paris, and Sharm El Sheikh ranked as the most popular destinations for Saudi travellers. Bookings for London this summer have increased by 133 percent compared to the summer of 2019, driven by the introduction of the electronic visa waiver for Saudi nationals on June 1, 2022.

Bookings for Paris this summer have also increased by 65 percent compared to summer 2019 as Saudis eagerly return to a longstanding favorite destination as pandemic restrictions are lifted.

In terms of top trending destinations, with the announcement of the exemption of Saudi nationals from entry visas to visit Thailand on June 7, 2022, the country is now one of the most sought after destinations for international travel.

Turkey has immediately become an exceedingly popular destination for Saudi travellers, as the destination catapulted to one of the top three choices since the announcement that Saudis are permitted to visit the country on June 20.

Muzzammil Ahussain, Executive Vice President, Almosafer, said: “Confidence in travel has been fully restored as we experience unprecedented demand for consumer travel. Saudi travellers are eager to make the most of the season this summer following the pandemic years of restricted travel and are opting for destinations that are either all-time favourites or newly accessible. Overall, Almosafer consumer data reveals that travel is well and truly back and we are excited for the season as we continue to meet this increasing demand by providing the very best products and services for our customers.”

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