ABU DHABI, 5 April – A massive surge in demand for a four or five-day vacation has been recorded, just ahead of the year’s first long weekend.
Inquiries and bookings have started, with most aggregators saying packages have sold out.
According to popular online travel agency Holiday Factory, budget destinations like Georgia and Azerbaijan are selling out quickly.
“Eid Al Fitr’s travel season this year will be a big one. We are already seeing a 25 per cent growth in the number of passengers travelling for leisure this Eid Al Fitr,” said Namrata Bhatia, marketing director of Holiday Factory.
“There is a high demand for short and affordable holiday packages, especially for the upcoming long weekend. Contrary to previous trends, many customers are booking their Eid holidays up to 60 days in advance, especially to the most popular destinations such as Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan,” said Bhatia.
The holiday begins on Thursday, April 20 as per astronomical calculations, and will last till Sunday, April 23. Even though astronomical calculations can determine the beginning and end of lunar months, the actual dates will be announced after the crescent moon is sighted.
Bharath Aidasani, the Managing partner at Pluto Travels, said budget and visa-friendly destinations are in demand. “Destinations like Georgia, Baku, other Caucasian countries, and Albania is in demand because of the affordability. However, in destinations like Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, and Portugal, tourists are attracted because of the pleasant weather for a soothing vacation,” said Aidasani.
Libin Varghese, sales director at ROOH Travel and Tourism LLC, said that Turkey, Netherlands, and Serbia are the most enquired place this long weekend. Due to a huge rush, the travel agency closed its booking for the Caucasian region for Dh2,199.
“There are packages available to Georgia and Azerbaijan at Dh3,300 onwards, and for Turkey and Netherlands, the package cost varies between Dh4,000 to Dh6,000.”
Aggregators have also mentioned that people are booking flights and hotels themselves. This is so they have more control over the cost of travel. However, they do seek assistance for other elements like local guides, tour and transport services.
According to the Flydubai website, there is a slight increase in airline ticket fares. However, the airline has an offer in which those booking tickets by April 20 for travel till April 23, 2023.
However, if you plan to reserve tickets on April 19 to Tirana in Albania, the airfare is Dh1,420, whereas a ticket to Baku will cost you Dh1,248 – a sharp jump of 100 percent from the current fare.
The round-trip airfare for Maldives for a 4-day vacation from April 19 starts at Dh3,418, with packages available on many travel websites at Dh4,500 per head. — Khaleej Times