This year’s MENA Eid Travel Trends report by Wego reveals that the story isn’t about destinations as such – but rather, MENA travellers are taking multiple short breaks, taking advantage of great LCC connections and OTA options.
Middle East travellers are making more last minute, quick break, travel decisions during Ramadan and Eid, revealed Wego, the leading travel search site in the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
“This year, last minute travel searches jumped significantly for the period leading up to Ramadan,” commented Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director of Wego MENA and India. “Ramadan began at an earlier time, coinciding closely with school holidays and the summer vacation period. It’s possible that some travellers were caught off guard, accustomed to more travel planning time.”
“The earlier timing hasn’t negatively affected the number of travel searches; conversely Wego has recorded an increase in searches overall by 224 per cent (Hotels up 257 per cent, Flights up 220 per cent) over the same period last year.”
“What’s really interesting to note is the increase in more frequent, shorter stays,” Hmedan continued. “Travellers are taking full advantage of the availability of Wego’s regional low cost carrier partners and online travel agent options, which is fuelling a lot more opportunities to travel. This year we’ve seen FlyDubai and FlyNas topping the most frequently searched airline list, alongside full service regional carriers.”
Along with higher domestic searches for weekends in Dubai, Fujairah and Abu Dhabi from the UAE, Hmedan added that an ease on visa requirements for GCC nationals in some European and Southeast Asian countries, also contributed to the rise in travel searches internationally.
The majority of Wego’s large increases in flights and hotel searches were generated through the ‘Wego Flights & Hotels’ travel app for iOS and Android.
“More than 75 per cent of bookings on Wego in MENA begin from a mobile device. Wego’s travel apps for iOS and Android are extremely popular in MENA, regularly ranking number one in Saudi Arabia for both platforms over the last 12 months, and amongst the top five preferred travel apps across the region,” said Hmedan.
“We are constantly improving the smartphone user experience adding new features tailored to making searching and booking travel as personal and convenient as possible, while fully localised for the MENA market.”