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Nearly half of MENA residents plan to travel within a month

April 6, 2021

Travel search engine says more people are preparing to travel as vaccination continues

More than three quarters of travellers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are willing to get vaccinated as soon as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, according to a Wego survey.

The search engine said travellers, particularly in the GCC, are increasingly confident, as the authorities have rolled out vaccination programmes.

Its survey on travellers’ behaviour in the first quarter of 2021 showed that 77 percent are willing to take the vaccine as soon as it is available to them, while 45 percent plan to travel within one month, and 36 percent plan to go on a luxury holiday.

More than one quarter, 26 percent, plan a leisure trip with their families.

The most popular destinations by search are the Seychelles, which increased by 62 percent in Q1, followed by Thailand with a 45 percent increase and the Maldives with a 40 percent increase.

Mamoun Hmedan, Wego managing director for MENA and India, said that the speed of vaccine distribution in tourism destinations “will have a crucial impact on people traveling again”.

“As the authorities in the GCC region continue to go above and beyond and lead the vaccination drive, we believe more travellers will be reassured to travel in the coming months, as our recent survey reveals.”

Wego research also shows a trend towards longer holidays, with 62 percent planning to book their trips for 10 days.

Within the UAE, data from travel agency REHLATY, which caters specifically for Emirati travellers, showed that 70 percent of its bookings for the first quarter of 2021 had been for outbound travel, with the Maldives and Tanzania being the top selling destinations.