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

The Kingdom’s omni-channel travel brand said the growth in booking shows a strong appetite for consumer travel as demand increased with the ease of pandemic restrictions across the world. 

Almosafer’s Saudi Summer Travel Trends showed that travelers from the Kingdom opt to book stays at luxury accommodation with five-star hotels accounting for almost 50 percent of hotel bookings this summer.

Average order values for bookings increased by 66 percent for hotels and 19 percent for flights, compared to the summer travel season in 2019. 

According to the report, domestic tourism rose by 7 percent as locals continued to explore the Kingdom’s attractions. Abha, the capital of Asir region, witnessed a rise of 125 percent in bookings compared to summer 2019, it added. 

Dubai, London, Cairo, Paris and Sharm El Sheikh remained the most popular international destinations for Saudi travelers. 

The report said bookings for London increased by 133 percent compared to summer 2019, driven by the introduction of the electronic visa waiver for Saudi nationals on June 1, 2022. 

In terms of top-trending 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,”  Muzzammil Ahussain, executive vice president of Almosafer, said. 

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