Tuesday , October 24 2017

Passion for travel … hobby turns into ‘lucrative’ trade

safariKUWAIT CITY, Oct 12, (KUNA): Kuwaitis are fond of travelling and visiting different world countries, both for recreation, and to get acquainted with peoples’ culture. The rising trend requires travel agencies that can organize such journeys, provide favorable offers and discover attracting destinations. Recently, a host of initiatives were launched on the social media offering advice and travel services to Kuwaiti families in return for money. In the course of time they have turned into projects, recently attracting more and more visitors.

Example
Amatraveller offers a good example, organizing journeys only for women groups. Founder of the amatraveller, Shaikha Al-Rashed, told KUNA that she has a strong passion for travel and knowing about other cultures, which prompted her to launch an Instagram account to share her personal travel experiences with others. As time passed by, followers of her Instagram page increased and many asked her to organize trips for them. Thanks to reading a lot of tourism books and magazines, Al-Rashed has come to gain knowledge that helps her select destinations or propose them for others.

Kuwaiti young people are really fond of travelling and discovering fresh places, she said, noting that the first journey she organized was to Portugal, followed by a Safari in Eastern Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. This was the first Safari for women from the Arabian Gulf, aged 15-45, and it encouraged many of them to visit destinations they had never thought of before, especially after they saw pictures, she said. These included Iceland and the Portuguese Azores islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

Though marketing via social media has proved excellent so far, yet it is still inadequate, Al-Rashed said, noting that her Instagram account was the base for promoting business on the regional and the international scenes. Amatraveller offers whole packages, air tickets, hotel bookings, schedule and all other possible facilities, she said. According to Al-Rashed, no official permits are needed for such business, as she organizes journeys for people directly from Kuwait or abroad.

Spending
Kuwaitis spending on tourism in 2014 hit USD seven billion, marking a rise of 52 percent, compared to USD 4.6 billion a year earlier, the World Travel and Tourism Council said in its annual report. The sum was only spent on recreational tourism, 74 percent, and business and conference tourism, 26 percent. Kuwaiti tourists spent more than half the travel budget on air tickets, about 54 percent, as 18 percent went to hotels, 8.5 percent for food, then 5.3 percent for hiring cars. Last year, Kuwaitis mostly visited the UAE, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, the US, Italy, Turkey, Austria and Switzerland.

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