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RIYADH: Travel bookings in Saudi Arabia exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 28% in June compared to the same month in 2019, according to Almosafer.

The Kingdom’s omnichannel travel brand said the growth in bookings shows a strong appetite for consumer travel, with demand increasing with the ease of pandemic restrictions across the world.

Almosafer’s Saudi Summer Travel Trends showed that travelers to the Kingdom are opting to book stays in luxury accommodations, with five-star hotels accounting for nearly 50% of hotel bookings this summer.

Average order values ​​for reservations increased 66% for hotels and 19% for flights, compared to the summer travel season in 2019.

According to the report, domestic tourism increased by 7% as locals continued to explore the Kingdom’s attractions. Abha, the capital of Asir region, saw a 125% increase in bookings compared to summer 2019, he added.

Dubai, London, Cairo, Paris and Sharm el-Sheikh remained the most popular international destinations for Saudi travellers.

The report states that bookings for London have increased by 133% compared to summer 2019, due to the introduction of the electronic visa waiver for Saudi nationals on June 1, 2022.

In terms of top destinations, with the announcement of the exemption of Saudi nationals from entry visas to visit Thailand on June 7, the country is now one of the most sought-after destinations for international travel.

“Confidence in travel has been fully restored as we experience unprecedented demand for consumer travel,” said Muzzammil Ahussein, executive vice president of Almosafer.

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