Cairo, Jeddah, Dubai, Istanbul and Kuwait are among top destinations for MENA residents
Middle East and North Africa-based online travel marketplace Wego has revealed the top booking trends for winter 2023.
Travellers are gearing up for winter trips, either for leisure vacations or for expat residents' return home visits.
More MENA travellers are flying this winter compared to last year, with an 11% YoY increase in international flight bookings for the travel period between November 2023 and January 2024.
Wego has also observed that there's been a steady rise in booking numbers every year in the post-pandemic period since 2021, reflecting a growing appetite for winter travel among MENA travellers.
Cairo stands out as the top destination among MENA residents, followed closely by Jeddah, Dubai, Istanbul and Kuwait.
Cities in the South and Southeast Asia also feature on the list, with Manila, Lahore and Delhi in the top 10. Travel interest in these destinations predominantly represents homecoming trips for the Filipino, Indian and Pakistani communities in the region.
According to Wego’s data, average flight prices for some popular routes are lower this winter compared to last year. Flights to Cairo from several GCC countries saw some of the steepest price drops, averaging up to 35% cut compared to last year's winter period. Moreover, the same Cairo routes are now cheaper than during this year’s summer holiday with up to a 44% decrease in price, depending on the departure city.
Even compared to pre-pandemic rates, Cairo routes now sport cheaper price tags. For instance, the average ticket price from Riyadh to Cairo in 2023 has dropped by 113% compared to the winter period toward the end of 2019. Similarly, the Kuwait-to-Cairo route shows a decline of 62% compared to the average price before the pandemic.
Other popular destinations such as Istanbul, Lahore and London have also witnessed average flight price reductions compared to the previous year. For example, flights to Istanbul from Saudi Arabian cities are now cheaper by an average of 32% compared to last year.
Manila stood as an exception; Wego observed up to a 10% YoY increase in flight prices during winter 2023 from various departure points across the MENA region.
For more information, visit www.wego.com