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Saturday, June 1, 2024

Airfares rise as demand for travel during long weekend increases

Eid-ul-fitr might fall on a weekend this year causing many to look for four-day vacation packages in budget friendly places.

Eid-ul-fitr is a precious time for muslims all around the world. Most are eager to spend this time celebrating with families while others look forward to the few days they get a break from everyday jargon. This year Eid-ul-fitr seems to be falling on a long weekend. Motivating people’s desire to travel. There has been a massive surge in demand in Dubai for short four to five-day vacations. Many travel agencies are reporting that packages have sold out, with a particular focus on budget destinations such as Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Booking trends 

Namrata Bhatia, the marketing director of Holiday Factory, has stated that this year’s Eid Al Fitr travel season will see a 25% growth in the number of passengers travelling for leisure. The most popular destinations for Eid holidays are Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, with many customers booking their holidays up to 60 days in advance.

According to Bharath Aidasani, the Managing Partner at Pluto Travels, budget and visa-friendly destinations are in high demand. Destinations like Georgia, Baku, other Caucasian countries, and Albania are popular due to affordability. However, in destinations like Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, and Portugal, tourists are attracted because of the pleasant weather for a soothing vacation.

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Libin Varghese, the sales director at ROOH Travel and Tourism LLC, has stated that Turkey, Netherlands, and Serbia are the most enquired about destinations for this long weekend. Due to a huge rush, the travel agency closed its booking for the Caucasian region for Dh2,199. Packages are available to Georgia and Azerbaijan starting at Dh3,300, while packages for Turkey and the Netherlands range from Dh4,000 to Dh6,000.

According to aggregators many people are booking flights and hotels themselves to have more control over the cost of travel, but still seek assistance for other services like local guides and transportation. Flydubai website reports a slight increase in airline ticket fares, but offers a discount for bookings made by April 20 for travel until April 23, 2023. However, if you book a ticket on April 19 to Tirana in Albania, it will cost you Dh1,420, while a ticket to Baku will cost Dh1,248, a 100% jump from the current fare. The round-trip airfare to the Maldives for a four-day vacation starting from April 19 starts at Dh3,418, and many travel websites offer packages starting from Dh4,500 per person.

Beyond Borders

The surge in demand for short, affordable holiday packages is not limited to the UAE alone. In the UK, a similar trend has been observed, with people booking short vacations ahead of the May bank holiday weekend. A survey conducted by Skyscanner revealed that 47% of British travellers plan to take a short break during this period, with the majority seeking budget-friendly destinations like Spain and Portugal.

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In the US, the situation is similar, with travel agencies reporting a surge in demand for Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer vacation season. According to data from AAA, more than 37 million Americans are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend, a 60% increase from last year.

Potential justification

The surge in demand for short, affordable vacations can be attributed to several factors. The pandemic has made people appreciate the importance of taking a break and rejuvenating oneself. With travel restrictions easing in many parts of the world, people are keen to explore new destinations and experience different cultures.

Moreover, the availability of budget-friendly travel packages has made it easier for people to plan and book their vacations. Many airlines and hotels are offering attractive discounts and deals to encourage people to travel.

Nevertheless, the demand for affordable vacation with budget destinations like Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Albania remains high; probably due to their affordability and visa-friendly policies or simply due to travel restrictions being uplifted. Either way, people seem to be eager to avail the opportunity and make the most out of the long weekend.