Egypt maintained its position as most popular destination Mena travellers in Q2, attracted by its historical sites, stunning river cruises, bustling markets and all-round value for money.
India jumped two places to second position in Q2 2018 – up from number four in Q2 2017.
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This is probably a result of the holy month of Ramadan beginning mid-May and many Gulf-based Indian expats who chose to travel to their home country during this period or immediately afterwards. This survey was revealed by online travel marketplace Wego.
Similarly, Pakistan jumped two places from number 11 to number 9 position for the same reason.
Saudi Arabia has been pushed down to number three spot.
Yet, Saudi Arabia remains a popular destination in Q2 among domestic and international visitors who travel for business, leisure and Umrah purposes.
Turkey was also moved down one spot in Q2 2018 to number four position. But the nation is looking especially affordable for GCC-based travellers this year, owing to continued currency weakness and tourism numbers reflecting strong demand.
Overall, the UAE retains its spot as the fifth most popular destination; a position that it has been holding on to for the last four quarters. Dubai specifically improved its ranking by one position in 2018 with maximum visitors interest stemming from KSA, at the expense of Alexandria which dropped by two places. At the same time, visitors from Kuwait to Dubai declined this quarter.
Travel to the Philippines from Mena region saw strong growth in Q2 2018. This appears to have been caused by expats travelling home during Ramadan, marketing efforts by the Philippine Department of Tourism and the opening up of new airline routes.
Lebanon, now at rank number 11, has emerged as this quarter’s big gainer – up by four places on the Wego Traveller Destination Leaderboards. This rise also appears to be caused by a combination of GCC-based Lebanese expats travelling home for summer vacations and interest from affluent GCC tourists looking to escape the heat this year.