In the first dedicated survey around post COVID-19 travel for Saudi Arabia, Almosafer, the Kingdom’s leading omni-channel travel brand, found Saudi national’s appetite for travel has remained resilient with 73% confident to go with restrictions partially lifted.
In a boost to the domestic leisure travel market, 35% of Saudi’s are keen on discovering the growing cultural, adventure and entertainment offering in their home country, as they chose a staycation in the Kingdom as a preferred travel option post COVID-19. Makkah and Jeddah were identified as the top destinations for domestic travel, with other metropolitan cities amongst the top choices (Riyadh, Dammam) and more experiential destinations such as AlUla, Taif and Abha of rising interest. The results in terms of domestic travel are consistent with searches across Almosafer app and web channels, as compared to the previous month, a 83% increase in domestic searches was recorded from 1st May till date.
Domestic travel was only topped slightly by the wider GCC, with 38% of Saudis indicating their first venture out of KSA will be to its neighboring countries. As for destinations further afield, 38% also chose Asia for a potential first trip post pandemic. Travelling with family was preferred by 50% of Saudi nationals, followed by 29% who said they would go in smaller groups of friends in keeping with the social distancing mindset.
In terms of mode of transport, Saudis preference was journeys by car (48%) or short haul flights (40%), with religious tourism of the highest priority in terms of travel purpose (42%). Given the closure of Makkah during Ramadan, once the city opens, bookings are expected to rise quickly amongst the domestic market.
58% of Saudi travellers would opt for trips shorter than 7 days. But overall, there is also a large appetite for trips that exceed the duration of a weekend getaway with 42% planning to go for longer than a week.
The majority of Saudi travellers questioned mentioned social distancing and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) rules applicable in-destination would be crucial information necessary before making a travel decision (60%).