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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 22: Travel agencies in Kuwait have witnessed a great turnout of citizens and residents the past few days to book flights during the national holiday, which led to over 200 percent increase in the ticket prices of several destinations. Several specialists in the tourism sector have told KUNA on Wednesday that the most desired destinations to go to during the holiday are GCC countries, Turkey, London, Cairo and Beirut. Director of the Operational Lines Network Planning and Distribution Department at Kuwait Airways Shoroq Al-Awadhi told KUNA that the prices of flight tickets of all airlines are demanded locally and internationally. The most demanded destinations currently on Kuwait airways are Turkey, GCC countries and relatively close countries to Kuwait due to the short holiday, added Al-Awadhi, noting that the turnout on flying on Kuwait airways have increased since adding new destinations and increasing its flights.

In a similar statement to KUNA, Director of Al-Maktab traveling agency Nassib Adnan said that the number of people wanting to travel during the national holiday have increased to reach 90 percent, alongside the significant increase in ticket prices for several destinations. For his part, tourism specialist Kamal Kabsha told KUNA that the travel demand for London, Cairo, Riyadh, Jeddah and Dubai during the national holidays have exceeded expectations, noting that the demand for Istanbul have declined after the recent earthquake. Meanwhile, the sales of travel and tourism agencies in Kuwait increased by about 75 percent during the year 2022 to KD 276.71 million from KD 157.83 million in 2021, reports Al-Rai daily quoting informed sources. They explained that the revenues of the travel and tourism agencies increased during the past year by about 338 percent to KD 276.7 million from KD 63.22 million in 2020 when the COVID-19 crisis hit various countries of the world including Kuwait. The crisis had caused the shutdown of the airport and quarantine procedures imposed on arriving passengers. It also led to a significant drop in the air traffic despite discounts on flight tickets and hotels in various destinations, which threatened many travel and tourism offices with bankruptcy and failure, and resulted in the dismissal of a large number of their employees.

The trend of the travel agency sales index in Kuwait was upward from January 2021 until the end of December 2022, with the fading of the COVID-19 crisis and the opening of the appetite of citizens and residents to travel after long periods of interruption.

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