Turkey and Thailand among most popular travel destinations

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Ramadan is more than halfway through and travellers are starting to make plans for the coming Eid holiday.

Predicted to begin on April 20 in the UAE, the holiday period — which looks set to run for four days this year — is typically a popular time for getaways.

This year, top destinations for travellers include Turkey and Thailand, with the ever-popular Maldives continuing to be a firm favourite, according to travel companies in the region.

International travel is also proving more popular this Eid than it was last year. “At dnata Travel, for Eid Al Fitr 2023, we are witnessing a 25 per cent increase in the number of travel bookings made with UAE travellers, across the world, compared to the same period last year,” said a representative of dnata Travel, the UAE’s biggest provider of travel services and products for retail and business customers.

That is echoed by data from travel metasearch engine Wego. “With the Eid Al Fitr break approaching in the region, we see more family travel where most people fly back home to celebrate Eid with their families. As a result there is an increase in the number of searches for flights globally. We have recorded about six million searches on our platform between March 1 and April 11 for people searching to travel for the long Eid break,” said Mamoun Hmedan, chief commercial officer and managing director of Mena and India at Wego.

Most travellers are opting for a short getaway. Data from dnata Travel shows that many are seeking trips averaging four or five nights, while flight price comparison portal Skyscanner has seen more than half of those searching for overseas flights from the UAE planning a week away or less.

According to Skyscanner, the busiest day for travel is April 24. More than 65 per cent of travellers searched for flights on this date, which is probably a combination of people adding annual leave to public holidays to travel after initial Eid celebrations, and travellers returning to the country after spending Eid overseas.

Regional destinations including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, India and Pakistan are among the most popular places people want to travel to this month, while Turkey and Thailand are top Eid destinations, ranking in the top 10 for Wego, Skyscanner and dnata Travel.

As always, island getaways remain popular. The Maldives tops destination lists from Skyscanner and dnata Travel, while other Indian Ocean holiday hotspots such as the Seychelles and Mauritius feature in dnata Travel’s top 10.

“At dnata Travel, Indian Ocean destinations and stays on Thailand’s largest island Phuket are highly sought after for a beach retreat with UAE travellers this Eid. Meanwhile, city breaks and shopping trips in Turkey, Spain, Singapore, Italy and the UK are trending, with travellers opting for bed and breakfast meal plans to have in-destination dining flexibility,” said Meerah Ketait, head of retail and leisure at dnata Travel.

Other popular spots favoured by UAE travellers include the US, the UK and the Philippines. These destinations typically attract a mix of holidaymakers and UAE residents heading home for the holidays.

But not all travellers are planning to leave the country. Dnata Travel also found that UAE staycations are trending for the coming holiday period, with popular destinations including Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, Ras Al Khaimah’s beach resorts and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Source: https://www.thenationalnews.com

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