Saudi nationals optimistic on post Covid-19 travel, survey shows

More than one-third of Saudi respondents to an Almosafer poll expressed a preference for domestic travel

A majority of Saudi nationals are confident enough to travel as Covid-19 restrictions ease, according to a new survey from omni-channel travel brand Almosafer.

According to the survey, 73 percent of Saudis are confident to go with restrictions partially lifted.

Additionally, 35 percent of Saudis said they are keen to travel domestically in the kingdom rather than abroad post Covid-19 with Makkah and Jeddah singled out as popular options, as well as experiential destinations such as Al Ula, Taif and Abha also of rising interesting.

On the Almosafer app and web channels, there was an 83 percent increase in domestic searches from May 1 compared to the previous months.

Domestic travel, however, was topped slightly by travel to GCC countries, with 38 percent of respondents saying they’d prefer to travel to a neighbouring country.

As far as destinations further afield, 38 percent also chose Asia for their first potential trip.

Travelling with families was also found to be preferred by 50 percent of Saudi nationals, compared to 29 percent who said they’d prefer to travel in smaller groups of friends.

A total of 48 percent of Saudi respondents said they’d prefer car travel as their preferred mode of transport for any post Covid-19 trip, compared to 40 percent who said short-haul flights.

More than half – 58 percent – of Saudi travelers said they would prefer trips shorter than 7 days, with 42 percent saying they planned to go for longer than a week.

Notably, 60 percent of Saudi travelers said that information about social distancing rules and PPE in a particular destination would be necessary before making any travel decision, while 55 percent said they would need clarity on measures taken by hotels airlines.

“It is encouraging to see the passion for travel in the kingdom remains resilient,” said Muzzammil Ahussain, executive vice president at Almosafer.

“The interest in domestic leisure travel also provides a real opportunity to accelerate the development of tourism in the kingdom and focus on the growing cultural, adventure, and entertainment offerings waiting to be explored,” he added.

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