According to a new survey by leading online travel agency, Wingie, Istanbul was the MENA region’s popular tourist destination in the first quarter of 2022. Driven by increased vaccination rate and lifting of travel restrictions, the tourism and aviation sectors appear to be making a rapid recovery.
Istanbul has emerged as a leading flight destination in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to leading flight-booking website Wingie.
“Despite continued concerns over Omicron, international air travel in the MENA region showed major signs of recovery in this year’s first quarter,” Wingie Commercial Director Orkun Ozkan said.
According to first-quarter data compiled by Wingie.ae, most of the flight tickets purchased in MENA region were to Istanbul, followed by Khartoum, Manila, Dhaka, Baku, Lucknow, Entebbe and London. “Istanbul, meanwhile, topped the list of the most preferred destinations among MENA travellers,” Ozkan said.
Wingie’s survey also found that most flights originating from the MENA region departed from the Saudi Arabian cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Abha. During the first several weeks of the year, numerous flights also departed from cities such as Dubai, Kuwait City and Cairo.
“The travellers from Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and Oman mostly travelled to Istanbul,” Ozkan said. The three most popular air routes were Riyadh-Khartoum, Jeddah-Khartoum and Riyadh-Baku.
Wingie’s survey found that following Istanbul, the most popular destinations among the same demographic were Khartoum, Manila, Baku and London. “More than 15 million people use Wingie each month in order to book their flights, so it can provide a good picture of overall travel trends and consumer preferences,” Ozkan said .
The average age of those booking tickets through Wingie is 34, and roughly half of them have travelled alone during this year’s first quarter. Ozkan highlighted that Wingie can offer route and transfer options that airlines are generally unable to provide. “Thanks to the its algorithm, nine out of 10 users reached their final destinations by way of a single stopover, and with an average cost advantage of 36 per cent,” he said, adding that, “Wingie will continue to develop its services to shape the future of the air travel and pass on the benefits to customers.”