Will MENA Travellers be the First to Hit Domestic and International Flights?

TraveloGuide Insight
2 min readMay 21, 2020

Over the past few months, researchers have been aggressively working to find out when travel industry can resume its operations. While most nations like Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK and the US seem to be neck deep into the coronavirus pandemic, the Middle Eastern countries seem to be fighting against the virus in a comparatively better manner. Consequently, MENA travellers are likely to be the first to resume travelling.

Experts claim that domestic travel will possibly lead the UAE’s recovery from Covid-19. The annual travel and tourism event — Arabian Travel Market, scheduled for June 1–3, will cover this topic too. As per a research by Colliers International, bookings to Abu Dhabi within a 48-kilometre radius improved to 43% in March as compared to 20% in January. Dubai, on the other hand, witnessed a percentage rise from 19 to 36.

According to the research results of a US-based company — Sojern, the most popular choice of travel post the pandemic (in the short to medium term) will be staycations. Although people are planning their future international vacations, domestic travel will still be the first to revive due to safety concerns.

Adherence to precautionary measures taken by the GCC national carriers has helped MENA travellers to believe that they can travel soon. Nearly 40% of respondents are excited to book a relaxing getaway after the travel restrictions are removed. The second preferred journey for travellers is for family trips and flights to visit the family back home.

As said by the co-founder and CEO of Wego — Ross Veitch, “GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries have done a good job of keeping the spread of the virus relatively contained. I think between GCC countries will be some of the first air corridors to open up. There’s enough trust, connectivity and co-ordination for that to happen.”

Experts claim that Dubai is the most favoured international destination among Indians besides Ubud (Bali), Istanbul (Turkey), London (UK) and Bangkok (Thailand). Clearly, Middle East’s tourism industry will be welcoming many travellers once the pandemic starts to recede.

Based on these survey’s one can estimate that travellers are eager for a holiday, but safety is the topmost concern.

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