By Majd Othman
KUWAIT: With the advent of the travel season of Christmas and New Year, many expats and citizens in Kuwait are booking flights for tourism or visiting their relatives. Airfares have witnessed an increase, especially for countries with large communities of low-wage workers in Kuwait, while touristic destinations have maintained the same prices compared to holiday periods before the pandemic.
Khalid Al-Jundi, a ticketing agent at a travel and tourism agency, told Kuwait Times that Turkey ranks first among touristic destinations for Kuwaitis and expats during this holiday, despite prices witnessing a great increase from the previous period. Currently, prices of tickets to Turkey cost KD 120 to KD 150, up from KD 70 to KD 80.
Jundi explained that people in Kuwait prefer Turkey due to the quick visa process, as it takes only a week to get it. The UK, Georgia, UAE, Egypt and France are among the touristic destinations that both Kuwaitis and expats prefer to travel to. But prices of tickets to Britain are high compared to the period before the pandemic. Jundi said the price of an indirect return ticket to the UK during this holiday starts from KD 320, while for direct flights airfares exceed KD 400 to KD 500 per person.
When Kuwait Times asked about the most popular destinations among working classes, Jundi said Manila tops the list, as prices for one-way ticket reached KD 300, despite prices before the holiday being KD 130. He pointed out the prices of working-class destinations witnessed a decrease compared to the period before the pandemic, mentioning airfares to Egypt in 2018 and 2019 were between KD 140 and KD 150, while after the pandemic they did not exceed KD 75 to KD 80 per person.
He referred the reason to the great demand from low-wage workers travelling after the pandemic, as they suffered from weak wages during COVID-19. Meanwhile, Egypt, India and Nepal ranked second, third and fourth among most popular destinations during the current holiday travel season.