In a travel trend data released by VFS Global, GCC travellers favour holidaying in European countries in the summer.
VFS Global, a outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, said that it witnessed a surge in visa applications from GCC travellers to many European destinations, including comparatively newer destinations.
Between January and June 2018, VFS Global recorded approximately over 1.10 million visa applications from within the region to Europe, which is a 20% increase compared to the same period in 2017.
VFS Global regional group COO for Middle East, South Asia & China Vinay Malhotra said: "We have noticed an increase in the visa applications to Europe, including to non-traditional tourist destinations indicating an expansion of the leisure travel as well as the geographic spread within Europe. Maximum travel is during the summer - generally, we see a spike post Ramadan and eid."
"The number of tourists visiting a particular country or region is dependent on several factors including the longevity of the visa and its cost, political conditions within that region, and their potential impact, and any main attractions or special events being hosted with in that country," he added.
The data also pointed out that travel to some of these cities was also dependent on weather and cultural experiences they offered. Destinations like Croatia, Latvia, Ukraine and Hungary witnessed a spike in visa applications in the first half of 2018 compared to the corresponding period in 2017, a statement said.