Sojern release Middle Eastern travel trends around COVID-19

Sojern to share current travel trends at the forefront of marketers’ minds. These insights are based on data collected on March 25, 2020. The data will be reviewed on a weekly basis in order to provide a regular view of trends and patterns in consumer behaviour. This blog series, includes the data in order to aid travel marketers in their assessment of this worldwide event. They can use these trends to inform their marketing strategies during this period and be prepared for the recovery once the situation stabilises. Whilst no-one can anticipate the full impact of these exceptional circumstances, the data can provide some insight into how travellers are responding to the current situation, the more long-term impact that COVID-19 will have on destinations, and when the first signs of recovery start to appear.

Global flight bookings to the Middle East are dramatically down – as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, there are further border closures, travel restrictions and lockdowns put into place across the globe. Additionally, major airlines in the region including emirates and Saudi have grounded their fleets and countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have enforced strict measures in order to contain the virus including dawn to dusk curfews. It is inevitable that we see global flight bookings to the Middle East drastically drop with global flight bookings to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) down 72 per cent year-over-year. Oman sees the least pessimistic outlook with global flight bookings down 38 per cent year-over-year. This is still significantly down but less so than the likes of Kuwait which has seen a 91 per cent drop in global flight bookings.