Tuesday, May 17, 2022 | Shawwal 15, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

The comeback!

Travel and tourism industry sees pent-up demand

There is pent-up demand for travel. People want to travel to see their families, resume work and kill the monotony of being stranded at one place due to the pandemic that virtually shut down the travel industry.


A section of tourists, however, are confused over hidden restrictions and the news of new variants of Covid-19 coming in from some parts of the world. Such tourists are in a miniscule minority as the trend is in favour of the aviation sector that has geared up with all possible readiness to meet travellers’ demand globally.


According to airline association IATA, demand for air travel continued its recovery in March despite the war in Ukraine and China’s restrictive Covid-19 policies.


Softening or removal of restrictions helped surge in pent-up demand in many regions. The aviation sector is seeing the long-expected surge in pent-up demand finally being realised.


A leading online travel marketplace in the Mena region, Wego, suggests travellers would opt for longer holidays and spend more on travel in summer 2022.


“The average booking value for flights this summer has increased by 57 per cent in comparison to the same period in 2019. Similarly, hotels saw a spike of 55 per cent compared to 2019,” it said.


“...people are looking to spend more and book leisure trips. We also see travellers opting for all-inclusive leisure travel which gives them a safe travel experience during the pandemic,” a Wego statement said.


Even though the airlines are geared up for operations, due to heavy rush there are reports of glitches and delays in some cases. Willie Walsh, IATA Director General, admitted the situation and called for urgent attention “to avoid frustrating consumer enthusiasm for air travel.”


As a mark of caution he said, “We are seeing long delays at many airports with insufficient resources to handle the growing numbers.”


While domestic movement has improved globally, people are wary of long-distance journeys due to prevalence of Covid-19 concerns. Even though conflict in Ukraine has limited impact on the travel industry, it is forcing a section of tourists to re-think and re-plan.


@patkaushal


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