Saudi Arabia hopes to increase the number of umrah pilgrims from its current level of 6.8 million annually to 30 million 2030. My latest for @ft on how the use of technology is key to make that happen: https://on.ft.com/2vVpHbM
These are the countries travelers in the Middle East visit the most
the largest online travel marketplace in the MENA region – recently revealed the top destinations for travelers in the Middle East … and Egypt took the No.1 spot in the ranking.
According to the report – which is based on users’ flight and hotel search activity on Wego during the second quarter of 2018 – travelers in the Middle East and North Africa most frequently visit Egypt, India, and Saudi Arabia.
“Egypt maintains its position as the undisputed #1 most popular destination of Q2, thanks to the continued patronage of both leisure and business travelers from the region,” the report stated.
“Visitors cannot seem to stay away from this enigmatic country – popular for its historical sites, stunning river cruises, bustling markets, and all-round value for money,” it added.
Egypt ranked No.1 … though the country’s tourism sector has been suffering
Political instabilities and several other internal issues have affected Egypt’s tourism sector in recent years.
In 2017, 8.3 million tourists visited Egypt, compared to the 5.4 million in 2016, according to the Oxford Business Group. That year, Egypt invited Salma Hayek for a visit in a bid to boost the country’s tourism sector.
Saudi Arabia ranked No.3 on the list
As for Saudi Arabia, “it remains a popular destination in Q2 among domestic and international visitors who travel for business, leisure, and Umrah purposes,” the report stated.
Saudi Arabia aims to increase the number of Muslims visiting the kingdom to perform Umrah from 6.8 million visitors to 15 million visitors by 2020, according to Financial Times.
Earlier this year, the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP) organized the Hajj Hackathon to promote the use of technology to boost the Hajj experience.
The event asked participants to propose ideas that would modernize the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and enhance the experience through technology and innovation.
These are the top 20 destinations for MENA-based travelers
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Bosnia and Herzegovina