Saudi Arabia travelers explore new places with longer stays

Travellers booking on Almosafer increasingly favored countries in Europe

A woman from Saudi Arabia takes a picture of pigeons she was feeding in London's Kensington Gardens August 25.

A woman from Saudi Arabia takes a picture of pigeons she was feeding in London's Kensington Gardens August 25.

REUTERS/Reuters Photographer
RIYADH -, the Saudi homegrown online travel platform which offers a seamless booking experience for over one million hotels and flights on over 450 airlines, is celebrating its sixth anniversary by releasing travel trends from yet another record year.

Over this past summer, travellers who booked on Almosafer increasingly favored visits to countries in Europe with London, Munich, Paris, Cannes, Geneva and Amsterdam being amongst the top booked destinations.

Compared to the summer travel season, travellers who booked ahead for the long winter break are not only opting to stay within the Middle East as they traditionally had, but are venturing out further with Bali, Belek and Orlando as newcomers on the list of trending destinations.

Travellers are also opting for longer vacations, with the average length of stay increasing by 20% compared to last year. This trend also applies to Dubai, the definitive number one destination for hotel bookings planned through the site; making up for 26% of the reservations followed by Makkah, Manama, Cairo and London. London remains a big focus for Saudi travellers, with a 14% increase in visits in the first nine months of 2018 in comparison to the same period last year.

2018 has been yet another record year for the Al Tayyar Strategic Online Business Unit, with Almosafer contributing to 65% of a net booking value of 1.45 billion Saudi Riyals, reached by the end of Q3. The overall success is fuelled by a 44% increase in outbound travel, both regional and international. Religious tourism, an ever-growing travel sector in KSA, has also played a key role, with hotel bookings for Makkah and Madinah increasing by 92% versus the same period in 2017, 83% of which were made in

Muzzammil Ahussain, EVP of Almosafer, said: “The power of the Saudi traveller shows no sign of slowing and we are committed to listening to what our customers want and doing our best to support their travel requirements. With the recent changes in travel visas for inbound and outbound travel, we anticipate that travellers will continue to venture further and wider than before and we look forward to being a part of travel experiences for all travellers in and around the Middle East.”

The data is based on January to Oct. 7, 2018 in comparison to the same period last year. — SG

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