Egypt and Saudi Arabia lead the way as top destinations for Middle East and North Africa travellers in Q1 2018 according to a report by Wego, an online travel marketplace.
The report — MENA Traveller Destination Leaderboards — analysed hotel and flight search data provided by millions of Wego users to determine the relative popularity of global destinations amongst travellers based in the MENA region.
Egypt retained its number one position as it did in Q1 2017 with Cairo being the “most searched” destination, the report revealed.
Wego managing director MENA and India Mamoun Hmedan said: “MENA travellers are lured by the culture, scenic attractions, and incredible food that can be experienced in Egypt but we also see large volumes of traffic from the business and expatriate sectors.”
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranked second again like it did in Q1 2017 and received a steady mix of business, expatriate and religious travel, the report stated crediting increase in domestic travel “intent” in the first quarter due to “increased activities by SCTA [Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage] and the new Entertainment Authority”.
India and Turkey moved up by one ranking taking the third and fourth position respectively while UAE ranked fifth compared to its third position in Q1 2017. But despite the slip, the report noted that Dubai remains the overall popular destination in MENA.
The destination that showed the biggest gain was Oman which jumped nine spots to rank 15th. The report pointed out that the opening of the new airport of a new international airport in Muscat, its connectivity as well as new hotel opening have improved the country’s tourism sector.
Kuwait ranked sixth, Jordan took eighth place while Lebanon took the 18thspot and Bahrain ranked 20th. Besides the Middle Eastern countries, Philippines, Indonesia and Pakistan also ranked in the top 10 destinations for MENA travellers.