Seven in 10 people in MENA ready to travel when coronavirus restrictions are lifted 

Some people plan to do a staycation, says Insight Out Consultancy 

  
Kuwaiti boys wearing protective face masks and quarantine tracking bracelets, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), pose for the camera as they hold up their passports upon arrival from Amman, to Kuwait Airport in Kuwait, Kuwait April 21, 2020.

Kuwaiti boys wearing protective face masks and quarantine tracking bracelets, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), pose for the camera as they hold up their passports upon arrival from Amman, to Kuwait Airport in Kuwait, Kuwait April 21, 2020.

REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee

Many people in the UAE and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will be ready to jump on a plane and explore the world again once the coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

A new survey conducted in April found that seven in 10 (69 percent) people are confident to go on a trip when borders open up, while 18 percent said they cannot wait to board a flight.  

The results were based on a survey of close to 3,000 respondents “predominantly” from the MENA region by Insight Out Consultancy DMCC.

Among those polled, 88 percent also said they would go out and do a social activity when restrictions are lifted. About 10 percent of these people said they would consider a staycation.

“We believe this provides valuable insight for the travel and hospitality industry in a time of uncertainty, and a glimpse of optimism for businesses as they begin planning for the future post the pandemic,” said Mona Faraj, founder and managing director of Insight Out.

Millions of people worldwide have been ordered to stay at home as part of precautionary measures to stem the spread of coronavirus since March.

Despite strict measures to contain the infections, the virus has so far infected more than 3.5 million people worldwide. In the UAE, the national tally has reached more than 14,000, with 2,762 recoveries and 126 deaths.

With most of the global population still confined to their homes and more than 16,000 commercial aircraft grounded due to the virus, the airline industry has been devastated.

According to estimates by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the passenger revenue losses for airlines this year would amount to $314 billion.

According to Insight Out’s survey, people who intend to go out after the lockdowns are lifted would first go for “mini-getaways,” with 33 percent planning to visit the beach, while others would go to the restaurant (29 percent), gym (16 percent) and the mall (12 percent), among others.

“People will still be cautious and prefer minimal contact,” Insight said.

Among those who plan to travel, nearly half (48 percent) said they would fly to their home country, while 52 percent would go to a holiday destination. Among the top destinations will be Europe (43 percent), followed by the Middle East (19 percent) and Asia Pacific (15 percent).

For the holidaymakers, spending a vacation in a resort or beach (40 percent) sounds very appealing, while cultural, sightseeing and nature activities are at the top of the list for the 21 percent.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

Cleofe.Maceda@refinitiv.com

#Travel #Coronavirus #UAE #MENA 

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© ZAWYA 2020

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