Long weekends are marked only a few times in one year — and so when they do come around, most UAE residents find ways of making them count. And what better way to maximise the rare opportunity than to book a plane ticket and go on an adventure overseas?
But there's a catch, travelling on such dates don't come cheap. Take for example the packages on offer for the upcoming Eid Al Adha break: We checked some popular travel websites and compared the costs during the long weekend and on normal days.
On Holiday Factory, a package to Uzbekistan after from July to September is priced at Dh1,299 — but for the Eid Al Adha break, the same holiday would be Dh 2,500. Similarly, a regular Dh1,699 package to Georgia soars to Dh2,899 during the big Eid weekend.
Experts explain five main reasons behind this price surge:
Increase in number of people booking trips
“One primary factor behind the price surge is the supply and demand. During long weekends and holidays, there is a substantial increase in the number of people seeking travel experiences,” said Subair Thekepurathvalappil, senior manager for inbound and outbound operations at Regal Tours Worldwide.
“The increased demand for flights, accommodations, and tourist activities creates a competitive marketplace,” he added.
Accommodation availability plays a crucial role, and “we have to consider the price fluctuations for the accommodation,” said Deepak Kaushik, sales head for Tours on Board. As the number of travellers rises, the limited supply of hotel rooms and vacation rentals becomes evident, he added.
“So securing accommodations is necessary to curate a tour package, and at peak times, this may result in higher costs,” said Kaushik.
Spike in airfares
Prices of flight tickets also soar during these days. "The increased demand for flights during peak travel periods leads to higher ticket prices which is a significant factor in the overall pricing of tourism packages,” said Libin Varghese of Rooh Tourism.
Tour operators also mentioned that they shoulder additional expenses during peak periods — from increased staffing requirements, transportation, logistics, to the need to maintain quality service while managing larger crowds of travellers.
The surge in package prices during holidays is a common trend globally, not a specific destination.
While the increase in prices during peak travel periods can be a concern for travellers — with “most of them booking their travel a month before the target departure date — some make up their minds just a few days before the trip. This may result in higher package prices, Subair said.
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