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KUWAIT CITY, Sept 29: Fitch Solutions said the number of travelers from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia is set to grow by nearly 190 percent in 2022, bringing their number to 943.7 thousand passengers, compared to 323.3 thousand passengers in 2021, suggesting that the number of travelers from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia will continue to rise until 2026, reports Al- Qabas daily. In the year 2024, the report said, the number of passengers will reach about 2 million people and 2.2 million people in 2026, saying Saudi Arabia will maintain its rank as the largest destination for Kuwait in the Middle East during 2022 to 2026, pointing out that there are positive expectations in the medium term for travelers coming from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia.
It expected the total number of passengers from Kuwait to reach 1.8 million people this year, an 80% growth over 2021, which recorded 986,700 passengers. Saudi Arabia will be the largest destination from Kuwait this year. Fitch Solutions said that travel from Kuwait is expected to fully recover in 2024, as their total travel will reach 3.8 million people, which is the highest level from the pre-Corona outbound travel level of 3.7 million passengers in 2019.
The sources pointed out that the total number of travelers from Kuwait will continue to increase until 2026 to reach 4.9 million people in that year, stressing that the increase in the departure of travelers from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia will be translated into an average annual growth of 40.3 percent annually from this year until the end of 2026. Travelers from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia, Fitch said, mainly depend on air travel. There are a number of airlines that operate direct flights from Kuwait to major Saudi cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Abha and Hail. Fitch Solutions indicated that despite the positive expectations for consumer spending in Kuwait for the current year, there are risks that stem mainly from high inflation and prices, pointing out that this may be reflected on the tourism sector in reducing the population in Kuwait spending on travel and hospitality, as they are currently unnecessary in order to direct their spending on necessary things such as housing and services and cover the high costs of food prices.
The annual growth rate of travel from Kuwait to Bahrain will reach 33.7 percent until 2026, bringing the number of travelers from Kuwait to Bahrain to 488.8 thousand passengers in that year, added the source. Fitch Solutions identified the best travel destinations from Kuwait in 2022 include Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Emirates, Bahrain and the UK. The agency reported the Kingdom is a major destination for performing Hajj and Umrah in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah, however, the Saudi authorities are making unremitting efforts to promote the country as a prime destination for leisure travel. These efforts form a major part of “Vision 2030”, which aims to diversify the economy and its revenues and reduce its dependence on oil.