Monday, September 26, 2022

Qatar’s travel sector remains resilient despite Omicron concerns

Qatar’s travel sector has remained unscathed so far from the rise of Omicron related cases, it was reported in The Peninsula. Travel agents across the country are facing strong demand from travelers, despite the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Safety measures implemented by the airlines and the airports have instilled confidence among travelers and encouraged them to continue with their travel plans.

However, the stakeholders in travel sector are keeping their fingers crossed fearing that consistent rise in cases may impact future travel plans.

“There is no significant impact on Qatar’s travel sector. We have not seen any unusual rise in cancellations of travel plans over the past few days. On the contrary, December was a good month as demand was high for tickets,” Hossein Gamal Ghanem, Marketing Manager of Victoria Travels told The Peninsula. “However, now we have to see the trend in COVID-19 cases in coming weeks,” he added.

Globally many airlines have canceled their flights due to rise in coronavirus cases. In Qatar, the situation is normal as no unusual flight cancellations have been witnessed. According to travel agents people are coming as usual to book flight tickets. December was a busy period for travel agents as booking surged during the month which was reflected in high prices of tickets. Travelers from Qatar preferred to go Turkey and Dubai for holiday in December because of lenient travel restrictions.  

“There is still strong demand for tickets from residents especially for destinations in Asian countries. Just to give an example, there are no seats available for the next two months in the economy class for The Philippines. Whatever seats are available, they are in the costlier category such as business class,” a senior official of a tour and travel agency told The Peninsula.  

According to travel agents, many travelers faced difficulty in getting results of PCR test which is mandatory before flying. Many travelers complained that they had to change their travel dates because of delays in getting test results.

“There was pent-up demand in the travel sector which re-emerged during December. Many residents could not go to their home country during July August period last year. They were waiting for December as schools are closed for winter vacation. During last month, we witnessed a strong rush for booking,” said General Manager of a tour and travel company.

In the coming months the trend in the travel sector will depend on the trajectory of COVID-19 cases, say travel agents.

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