16-fold increase in FIFA World Cup 2018-related hotel, airline searches in region

16-fold increase in FIFA World Cup 2018-related hotel, airline searches in region

Dubai - Saudi, Egypt and UAE top the list with maximum searches for Russia.



by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 13 Jun 2018, 6:47 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Jun 2018, 8:51 PM

Arab sports fanatics, from the GCC and MENA are taking advantage of the long Eid Al Fitr weekend and making a beeline for Russia.
 
Paired with the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the weekend of Thursday and Friday, June 14, 15, promises to be a much bigger celebration as it also marks the opening ceremony of the month-long FIFA World Cup 2018.
 
Leading airline and hotel search platforms such as Wego and Sky Scanner have witnessed a considerable rise in hotel and airline bookings to Russia, from football fanatics across the region. In the last two months, Wego has witnessed a 1,493 per cent jump in Russian hotel search volumes from the region, compared to the same period last year, according to Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director of Wego MENA and India.
 
Furthermore, most of the airfare searches from Gulf country residents were for the Russian tournament destinations of Moscow and St. Petersburg, according to Wego and the maximum travel interest for World Cup 2018 is coming from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE.
 
Meanwhile, there has been a 402 per cent spike in flight searches to major Russian cities on the website. He added, "This year, with the unprecedented qualification of four Arab teams for the World Cup, excitement levels are higher than ever before. Wego recorded a 16-fold increase in
interest for World Cup-led hotel searches, a number that appears to be growing every day."
 
Meanwhile, Skyscanner, a global travel app is reporting a 597 per cent increase in flight exits from GCC countries to Russia (comparing 2018 vs 2017 flights data). 
 
In terms of hotel search numbers, Saudi Arabia came first, demonstrating a 2,069 per cent increase year-on-year, while Egypt came second with a 1,412 per cent rise in traffic. Saudi Arabia (544 per cent) leads the year-on-year increase in flight bookings as well, followed by Egypt (459 per cent) and Bahrain (342 per cent).
 
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com


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