KUWAIT CITY, Nov 18: The travel and tourism sector in Kuwait has been suffering from heavy losses incurred since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis outbreak and the subsequent suspension of air traffic and the associated precautionary measures, which included preventing the reception of citizens of 34 countries including Egypt, India and the Philippines that represent the largest expatriate community in Kuwait. These losses have resulted in the closure and bankruptcy of a large number of travel and tourism agencies, reports Al-Anba daily.
According to informed sources from this sector, the shares of Kuwait’s travel and tourism agencies from reservations have decreased dramatically, reaching about five percent on board flights coming to Kuwait from the banned countries through transit either in Dubai, Turkey or other countries.
The cost of a ticket for flights from India, the Philippines and East Asian countries, which are presented as a complete package including the weekly quarantine, hotel accommodation and PCR analysis in one of the transit countries, amount to about KD 550. The cost of flight tickets from Arab countries such as Egypt and Lebanon has increased to KD 600, in the event that the ticket was booked from one of the travel offices in Kuwait. This has prompted many arriving passengers to book the package through offices located in the countries where they reside or in the transit countries, where the price of a ticket is less by up to 50 percent and does not exceed KD 300 or KD 350.
And due to the high value of tickets for flights from the banned countries offered by Kuwait’s travel and tourism agencies compared to those in the banned or transit countries, the sources affirmed that offices outside Kuwait now acquire approximately 95 percent of the total bookings for trips, which makes them control prices in conjunction with increase in the demand for those tickets.
As for the travel and tourism agencies in Kuwait, the sources said they have a limited number of seats in each flight, and they focus on business class in most of them and a small number in economy class.