April 28 2022  |  Industry News

Ramadan travel revives

By GTR Magazine Staff

The tradition of traveling at the end of Ramadan is making a significant revival this year, according to data from flight analyst ForwardKeys.

As of 13 April, outbound flight bookings from the Middle East for travel covering the last 10 days of the festival (22 April to 2 May) reached 64% or pre-pandemic levels, a 220% increase on travel during the equivalent period last year.

The outbound market set to recover most strongly is Bahrain, where booked departures are up to 90% of 2019 levels. It is followed by Jordan, 86%, the UAE, 84%, Qatar, 75% and Kuwait 68%.

Analysis of the outbound markets reveals that a major feature is expat workers traveling home. For example, the top destinations from the UAE are Pakistan and India and from Bahrain are the UAE, India and Bangladesh.

The stand-out destination for Middle Eastern holidaymakers is set to be the Maldives, ahead by 178% on 2019. Bookings for France, 2% ahead, Pakistan, 2% behind, Bangladesh, 3% behind and the UK, 3% behind, are all extremely healthy compared to the end of Ramadan last year.

The next best performing destinations are the UAE, 12% behind, Turkey and the Philippines, both 21% behind, Thailand 24% behind and Spain 26% behind.

Looking at bookings for the UK, which is traditionally one of the most popular tourist destinations during this period, there is a significant difference in interest from the various source markets. Flight bookings from the UAE, which is the largest, are just 2% behind 2019. Bookings from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are 17% and 10% behind, respectively, whereas bookings from Kuwait and Egypt are 32% and 59% ahead, respectively.

Trend to premium class travel

The recovery is also showing an interesting trend towards premium class travel. In 2019, 20% of departures from Kuwait to the UK were in first or business class; this year the proportion has risen to 29%.

VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates said: “The Gulf is a very important tourism source market for us and one of our highest spending. We know there is pent-up demand for international travel, so it is encouraging to see the continued recovery for travel to the UK, including the robust appetite for premium class travel from Kuwait and Qatar.”

France is looking particularly popular with visitors from Egypt, Kuwait and the UAE, where flight bookings are ahead of 2019 by 60%, 46% and 13%, respectively.

Olivier Ponti, Vice President Insights, ForwardKeys, concluded: “As COVID-19 travel restrictions are being removed, the world is starting to travel again; and that trend is well demonstrated by the return to traditional travel at the end of Ramadan. Throughout the pandemic, the Maldives has done exceptionally well at attracting visitors and the reputation it has created for itself is evidently paying off, most notably in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which together account for 83% of arrivals from the Middle East.”

REGION International

Brand News

May 24 2022

Bowmore introduces vintage whiskies…

Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has unveiled Bowmore 30-Year-Old and Bowmore 40-Year-Old, the latest aged and rare…

May 24 2022

FOREO boosts digital marketing…

​Swedish beauty and tech giant FOREO and sister brand FAQ are stepping up their digital marketing efforts following the outbreak…

May 24 2022

Molton Brown celebrates two decades…

​UK fragrance manufacturer Molton Brown is celebrating 20 years of its Re-Charge Black Pepper Collection

May 24 2022

Philip Morris International introduces…

​Philip Morris International Inc has released a new environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework, as well as details…

May 19 2022

Loch Lomond partners with Kreol…

​Kreol Travel Retail has struck a distribution partnership with single malt Scotch whisky producer…

May 16 2022

Habanos smashes sales record in…

​Cuban cigar supplier Corporación Habanos S.A. achieved a record turnover of US$568 million in 2021, with 15% growth compared…

May 16 2022

Design meets tech in new Rodenstock…

​Rodenstock has introduced its new Sun collection of men’s and women’s sunglasses combining frames in a top-class design…

May 16 2022

Godiva partners with star actor…

Godiva has announced the launch of Godiva Is Chocolate, a marketing campaign celebrating the Belgian chocolatier’s growth…

May 16 2022

Guerlain pops up at Dubai Airport

​French house Guerlain has launched its first-ever Haute Parfumerie pop-up store in travel retail at Dubai International…

Copyright 2022 DutyFree Magazine. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Sitemap