Doha, Qatar: As the summer vacation culminates, Qatar witnessed a nearly 10 percent increase in outbound travel during the months of June, July, and August compared to the same period in 2022, according to industry sources.

The Peninsula spoke to several experts and officials in the country to understand the ratio of outbound travel as compared to previous year during the summer season.

“There is an increase (in outbound travel) that does not exceed 10 percent from 2022,” said Ali Thabet, General Manager of Milano Travels and Tours.

He noted that a higher number of travellers were seen embarking on travel to their home countries than those who ventured for leisure. “The travel of residents to their countries of origin constitutes the largest percentage, about 70 percent, among travellers during the summer period in terms of number, especially in the education and health sectors, where the vacation is a longer period for them. It is an opportunity for residents to meet with family and friends back home, and for some to look into pending matters that need their presence in the home country,” Thabet said.

As the summer season performed exceptionally well, experts from travel agencies indicate that outbound bookings for tourism have already started for winter and spring vacations.

Lourdes Dolor, Marketing Manager at Darwish Travel, said June saw the most number of outbound travellers from the country as compared to July and August.

She said, “With the culmination of the summer season, our firm is able to maintain our outbound travel sales from last year. June, as expected, has seen the highest number of bookings for the summer season, where most people decided to go back to their home countries instead of travelling to other destinations.”

However, she remarked that London, Paris, Milan, and Istanbul continue to be among the most preferred destinations for both expats and residents in Qatar.

Dolor also mentioned that Southeast Asia’s Bangkok and Phuket, along with Maldives, remain favourite destinations for their clients.

“We hope to continue the positive trend towards the remaining quarter of 2023. Inquiries have already started trickling in, for both leisure travellers and expats wanting to spend the holiday season in their home countries,” she added.

The recent statistics from rank Qatar as the third in the list of countries with the most Schengen visa applications per capita.

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