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Kuwaitis expected to spend $5.2b on vacations
June 19, 2013, 1:45 pm

Kuwaitis are expected to spend $5.2 billion (Dh19.09 billion) on their summer vacations, travel sources have said.

The projections are up by 18 per cent over what Kuwaitis spent last year and represent half of their spending throughout the year, the sources said, quoted by local daily Al Qabas.

“Recent political developments and natural risks have deeply influenced the people’s choice of their travel destination this year,” Hameed Al Sarraf, a travel agency officer, said. “Kuwaitis always make sure that their destination is safe and secure. The unstable situation in many Arab countries has pushed them to choose Turkey for their summer vacation for the last few years. However, this year, they might change their mind following the developments in some cities there. But since most of the trips are scheduled for after Ramadan, they could keep their bookings if the situation is as calm as it was before the events,” he said.

Ramadan, the month sacred to Muslims during which physically fit men and women abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise until sunset, is expected to start on July 9.

Lebanon, Egypt and Syria, usually popular among Kuwaitis, have been disregarded as safe countries for tourism.

“Wealthy Kuwaitis tend to go to Europe, while the not so wealthy choose Arab or Eastern Asian countries,” he said. “Those who could not go to the Arab countries have opted to go to Turkey.”

Salem Eid, deputy executive chairman of a travel group, said that security, moderate weather and shopping were crucial factors for Kuwaitis in choosing the destination.

“London, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur top the list of the cities where Kuwaitis want to spend their vacation,” he said. “In the Arab world, there has been no activity towards Lebanon for the past three months while only students tend to go to Egypt, although there is demand for Sharm Al Shaikh. Turkey remains a favourite destination thanks to its natural beauty and shopping areas. The fact that it is a Muslim country is also important for Kuwaiti travellers,” he said.


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