Saudis swamp online travel websites as flights ban set to ease

RIYADH: Online travel companies have reported a spike in searches from Saudis looking for overseas destinations ahead of a resumption of international flights from Monday.

Wego, one of the largest online travel marketplaces in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, had witnessed a 52 percent increase in international flight searches and a 59 percent rise in hotel inquiries since the announcement on flying was made in January.

And data showed that a quarter of people searching for flight options were planning to jet off within 15 days of the lifting of the ban.

Egypt topped the list of desired destinations, followed by the Philippines, Morocco, Jordan, and Turkey.

Figures also revealed that 68 percent of flight inquiries came from people planning to travel alone, while 20 percent were for family groups, and 12 percent couples.

Mamoun Hmedan, Wego’s managing director for the MENA region and India, said: “This is a great step toward reviving the tourism sector in the region. Saudi…

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