East and West Europe are quite popular destinations for vacations among the UAE residents in mid and late August as airfares have come down by around 35 per cent from their peaks in July, say travel agents.
The UAE residents who had applied for a Europe visa 2-3 months ago and got an appointment for August are still flying in the last three weeks of this month to cooler climes of Eastern and Western Europe before the end of the summer school holidays.
In addition, some Asian and Middle Eastern families opt to fly to their home countries also for vacations.
Bharat Aidasani, managing partner, Pluto Travels, says people in UAE don’t mind travelling in August also for 20-25-days before the reopening of the schools.
“There are a good number of people who are still travelling in August for vacations to Europe. Those people who applied around 2-3 months earlier for visas, were not able to secure appointments in July, so their appointments were postponed to August. So they’re taking a break of 10-15 days this month,” he said.
There’s a good demand, according to Aidasani, for Budapest, Vienna, Prague and the Czech Republic because these countries are getting very popular destinations and they’re close by to make 10-15 day trips.
“Many people have been to Switzerland, Paris and London, but they have not covered the east side. Plus, Eastern Europe has also good connectivity with flydubai and Emirates operating daily flights. Importantly, visas to Austria, Vienna and Prague are somehow getting faster than UK, Switzerland etc.,” he said.
TP Sudheesh, general manager of Deira Tours, said because regular
traffic was badly disturbed during the last two years of the pandemic, there is a lot of travel during the entire June, July and August months this year.
“Whatever good options are available for vacations, people should take them because there are not many. This year, vacation trend has been very high for Georgia and Armenia are good short-term vacations,” said Sudheesh.
He said many UAE residents – not just Indian nationals – travel to their home countries as well for vacations, especially middle and low-income groups.
Sudheesh called for increasing frequencies on UAE-India routes to meet growing demand and also to bring down high airfares.
Bharat Aidasani added that airfares have come down in the last weeks of August from their peaks in mid-July.
“Before July 20, airfares were very high. That is an advantage for customers who travel in August because 70 per cent of the cost is actually related to airfares,” he said. Citing an example, Pluto Travels executive said airfare now hovers around Dh2,500 in mid or late August as compared to Dh3,500-Dh4,000 in July, down by more than 35 per cent. “There were festivals and Eid also in July, so airfares were peaking during public holidays but they’ve come down in August,” he added.
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