KUWAIT CITY, Nov 14: In reaction to what was published by Al-Rai daily, concerning the requirement of the health authorities in the event the citizens of the 34 countries who are stranded outside the country are allowed to enter, after signing a document to adhere to the health requirements, including PCR checks and mandatory institutional quarantine, the head of the Federation of Tourism and Travel Companies, Muhammad Al-Mutairi, said the news is once again pumping blood into the veins of the local economy, as the start of the return of expatriates will revive many economic sectors that have been affected by the repercussions of the corona pandemic, chief among them the tourism, travel, aviation, hotels, industries and complementary activities, such as retail sales and food services.
It is worth mentioning the so-called 34 countries are India, Iran, China, Brazil, Columbia, Armenia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Syria, Spain, Singapore, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Iraq, Mexico, Indonesia, Chile, Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Italy, North Macedonia, Moldova, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Montenegro, the Dominican Republic and Kosovo.
Al-Mutairi told the daily the tourism and travel sector companies have taken the necessary measures to provide the package for the returnees from the ‘prohibited’ countries, in accordance with the requirements that will be set by the Ministry of Health, stressing that the companies have started taking steps to calculate the value of the package, starting with the ticket price.
He mentioned that the first cost buildup, which is air ticket, differs from one country to another, expecting that the average ticket price will be about KD 70 for returnees from Middle Eastern countries, while the average ticket price will rise to KD 110 for returnees from the Indian subcontinent and several Asian countries.
He noted that the second cost build-up is the “PCR” tests, their value will range from KD 50 to KD 80, and the possibility the PCR charges may be included in the air tickets and/or the value of the hotel quarantine, and the average cost of private transportation from the airport which is about KD 5, and it may increase to KD 10 if hotels provide their cars, or hire local companies to do so.
Al-Mutairi pointed out that the average cost of the institutional quarantine in the hotel depends on the level desired by the returnee to the country; in the hotel apartments the average cost is KD 15 per night, with a total of KD 105 per person alone for the entire period of confinement, while that cost decreases if two people or families stay in the same apartment. He stated that staying in hotels will cost a little higher, as the average lowest price for a room is KD 20, while that value increases at the average highest price to KD 100, indicating that meal options in hotel apartments will be easy, as customers will be able to order what they need from delivery services without leaving quarantine, not to mention the possibility of contracting with companies to provide meals to customers at an average of KD 25, which rises according to the customer’s desire.
Al-Mutairi stated that according to preliminary figures, the lowest cost for a ‘package’, including tickets, “PCR” checks, transportation from the airport, accommodation in a hotel and the provision of meals until the end of the 7-day quarantine period, will be about KD 255 per person, while that cost increases to the level of KD 300 for returnees from Asian countries and the Indian subcontinent, and the cost could rise to higher levels according to the desires of the returnees.
He emphasized that this cost might witness a change, as happened in the prices of “transit package” with the variety of options that appear at the start of implementing the procedures, and entering the market again in a state of competition.