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Kuwait outbound tourism valued at $4.5 billion
January 6, 2014, 9:56 pm
Dubai, one of the world’s tourism hotspots and a regional attraction, is the number one choice for Kuwaiti travelers, a report released yesterday shows. The Kuwaitbased travel wholesaler Mubasher International yesterday issued their annual outbound tourism report for Kuwait that shows Dubai as the most visited city in 2013 followed by London, Paris, Barcelona, Munich, Milan, New York, Rome, Vienna and Zurich.
The inter-regional increase of traffic, the report said, could be attributed to the growth of passengers flying low-cost airlines. Flydubai and Jazeera Airways’ daily flights shuttling between Kuwait and Dubai make travel easier and cheaper, industry analysts agree. So does the myriad of other airlines that connect Kuwait to all of the region’s primary destinations.
The United Arab Emirates was Kuwait’s most visited destination in the past year, marking a growth of 8 percent in outbound travel, followed by the United Kingdom, France, Turkey, Germany and Spain. The United Kingdom marked 42 percent growth in travelers, which is the largest average increase compared to last year. Thailand, a destination frequented all-year round, came in only at 10th place. Furthermore, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt and Jordan are the topmost visited Arab destinations.
The continuous economic crisis in Europe and the relatively lower price of hotels there, the report said, attracted more tourists to Spain and France compared to 2012 where the number of Kuwaiti tourists increased strongly – growth that the report attributes to Kuwait’s large football fan base travelling to see Spanish Liga matches. Honeymooners helped position the Seychelles, Maldives and Mauritius as the perfect romantic holiday spots. Not all destinations remained the preferred choice for Kuwaiti tourists.
Turkey, for example, fell from third place last year to fourth place “due to political unrest”. The political instability in Thailand has kept the destination as number 10 on the list of Kuwaiti travellers. According to the report, the Maldives, Belgium, South Korea, Ireland, Japan, Portugal, Seychelles, Netherlands, Russia and Canada are the top 10 new emerging destinations. In the meantime, the top 10 emerging cities are Alicante (Spain), San Diego (US), Tokyo, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon, St Petersburg, Dusseldorf, the Hague and Vancouver (Canada). According to the report, the average Kuwaiti tourist spends $3,000 daily on airfare, accommodation, dining, ground transport, entertainment, car rental, telecommunication and travel supplies.
The single largest expense for a Kuwaiti traveler, the report shows, is dining (8.5 percent).The total expenses in outbound travel from Kuwait in 2013 was $4.5 billion, excluding travel to Saudi Arabia for hajj and umrah. The report also estimates that the average number of Kuwaiti family travelers ranges between six and eight including maids and drivers accompanied by them.
The report concludes that leisure tourism represents about 74 percent of total tourism. The remaining 26 percent are business travelers. The Mubasher report estimates that the average length of stay of a Kuwaiti family is 21 to 42 nights for the July-August period. For Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr, families travel for four to 10 nights. During the National and Liberation Day celebrations in the end of February, the average holiday lasts between four to seven nights
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