KUWAIT CITY, July 19: The Eid Al-Adha holidays this year will last for nine days, giving an opportunity for many to spend these holidays outside the country, especially after the travel movement stopped for more than a year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Al-Anba daily. The daily took a tour of several travel and tourism offices to find out the destinations that are most in demand among citizens and residents to travel during the holidays. A number of officials of these offices explained that Turkey, London, Maldives, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are the most requested destinations during the Eid holidays, in addition to other destinations such as some European countries and Arab countries, especially Egypt.
The long Eid al-Adha holidays this year is the first time that the travel and tourism offices in Kuwait are returning to work again after an almost complete cessation of work for nearly a year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to losses of more than KD 100 million. Also, about 50 percent of the travel and tourism offices have been closed, and 50 percent of workers in this sector have been laid off due to the pandemic. The ticket prices increased during the Eid holidays by 50 to 300 percent for some destinations due to the large demand for them and the lack of supply, especially after the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) fixed the number of arriving passengers to Kuwait per day at only 5,000.
Bader Al-Owais, the CEO of Al-Marwa Travel and Tourism Company explained that Turkey is the top destination for travelers this summer. There is a weak demand for France, Spain and Greece due to the complexities of visa issuance. The ticket prices have increased compared to last month by up to 300 percent. The number of tickets offered by offices and airlines is not sufficient to meet the demand of the travelers. For example, the cost of a ticket to Istanbul last month ranged between KD 100 and KD 120 but the cost has now increased to more than KD 400. Meanwhile, Director of Sales in Al-KharafiTravels Naji Khader said the turnout of citizens to travel to Turkey exceeded 200 percent. He revealed that there is also a great demand to travel to destinations such as Sarajevo, Georgia, Maldives and other destinations.
Khader said there is a relatively weak turnout to travel to Europe due to the visa procedures, adding that some countries imposed health measures. He indicated that the rate of demand for reservations increased more than 100 percent compared to the previous month. In addition, Director of Al-Waseet Office for Travel and Tourism Sami Abu Al-Saud affirmed that the destinations most requested by citizens are the countries that facilitate entry procedures for them and do not complicate them. He revealed, “Some destinations only require them to undergo PCR tests and present negative results. These are the destinations that citizens prefer to travel to. They are Turkey, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Egypt.
There is a great demand for travel, which has spurred recovery in the office traffic, as office sales have increased by up to 50 percent due to the Eid Al-Adha holidays. There are some European countries that require travelers to undergo quarantine when traveling to them such as Britain. Therefore, the demand among citizens to go there for the holidays has declined. Many citizens are waiting for their turn to receive a visa to some other European countries, but the delay has been due to the many requests submitted to the embassies of those countries such as Britain, France, Spain, Greece and others”. Regarding the ticket prices, Al-Saud stressed that they will improve with the increase in demand and the return to normal life again. He said such a high increase in the current prices is due to limiting the number of arriving passengers at Kuwait International Airport to no more than 5,000 per day, which leads to a shortage in the supply of tickets by both the offices and airlines.