East Africa nation, Kenya has been listed as one of the favourite tourism destinations for United Arab Emirates (UAE), residents during the 2022 Eid Al Fitr holiday season.
This list also included other choice destinations like Armenia could a source of attraction residents in the Middle East country.
According to gulfnews.com, this Eid break could be a turning point for the tourism sector since COVID-19 outbreak.
Have we returned to the pre-Covid days? Maybe not, but we surely are getting there faster than anticipated. At least the hospitality sectors from around the world can feel the pulse of tourism market returning to pre-pandemic levels this summer.
After almost two years, many countries have finally opened their borders to fully vaccinated travellers. Unvaccinated tourists can also travel provided they produce a negative RT-PCR test result on arrival. Regulations for unvaccinated travellers depend on the country they are travelling to and from.
UAE residents can finally take a hassle-free vacation this Eid Al Fitr. Travel agencies and airlines are already reporting higher-than-average bookings in the lead up to the month, with some steep discounts on ticket rates being an incentive to get onto an aircraft.
The Eid holidays in the UAE are confirmed subject to moon sighting. According to astronomical calculations, Ramadan is expected to be for 30 days this year, and Eid Al Fitr and the first day of Shawwal (the month that follows Ramadan in the Hijri calendar) is expected to be on Thursday, May 2, 2022. As per the official list of UAE holidays on the UAE government website, the holidays for Eid Al Fitr start from the Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3.
Georgia, Armenia and Serbia are the destinations of choice for the upcoming holidays, each providing RT-PCR free travel. That and the weather should be enough to recharge travellers’ batteries preparing them for the high-40s temperatures here. According to industry sources, tour packages to these destinations are already sold out.
Raheesh Babu of Musafir.com said that the travel portal is witnessing a 50 per cent surge in inquiries and bookings for the Eid Al Fitr break. “Previously, we used to see such demands just three days ahead of holiday, but now we are witnessing the same 30 days prior to the break.”
He said that the duration of the stay has also gone up. “Now we are getting bookings no less than four nights as opposed to three nights in 2019.”
The post-pandemic travellers’ checklist includes visa on arrival (or e-visa), flight durations and affordable deals. “Prices have gone up by 10 to 15 per cent compared to the previous season, but people are now ready to spend that money for a getaway,” said Babu.
Godfrey Lopez of Uranus travels said that March has been the best month in 2022 for the travel industry. He reckons this trend will persist until August. “Expo, easing of travel restrictions and the weather have mainly contributed to the spike, but with Eid travel followed by summer vacation, we can expect the next two months to be quite intense.”
This year, inquiries and bookings for Nepal, Kenya, Maldives, Croatia and Eastern Europe shot up in prominence as Eid and summer go-to spots. Due to the ongoing economic crises in Sri Lanka, the bookings to the island remain subdued.
Two-way airfares to these destinations hover between Dh2,900 to Dh3,200. A return ticket to Kenya is priced at Dh1,800.
All flights to the top summer destinations are at 85-95 per cent passenger load factor, offering some impetus for the tourism industry in the months ahead. Travel industry sources say airlines may add more flights to these routes because of the surge in demand.
flydubai and Air Arabia are the popular airlines due to their connectivity and affordable ticket rates.
Lopez recommends booking tickets well in advance to avoid paying more. He says the fares are expected to surge in coming weeks because of high demand.