Kuwait News

Kuwaitis spent more on travel, expats spent less on remittances

New data from the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) reveals that Kuwaitis splurged on travel and tourism during the first nine-months of this year, while expatriates spent less on remittances to their families back home, in the same period.

The data from the CBK showed that Kuwaitis splurged over KD3.5 billion on travel and tourism abroad during the first nine months of this year, The spending marked an increase of 12.4 percent from the KD3.14 billion that they spent during the same period a year earlier.

The Central Bank figures showed that travel and tourism expenditure by Kuwaitis increased significantly during the third-quarter of this year, the summer period when travel activity is typically higher. Total spending in the third quarter alone amounted to about KD1.15 billion, a small increase compared to KD1 billion spent in the second-quarter, and the KD1.3 billion spent in the first-quarter.

On average, Kuwaitis spent around KD392 million per month during the January to September period in 2023, The surge in spending has been attributed to the pent-up demand, following nearly two years of travel restrictions and precautions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conversely, during the same nine-month period remittances by expatriate workers saw a significant decline. Foreign remittances from Kuwait during the January to September period this year totalled KD2.97 billion, a sharp drop by 30 percent from the KD4.23 billion remitted during the same period in 2022. Figures further show that expat remittances have steadily decreased throughout the year. In the first quarter, transfers amounted to approximately KD1.22 billion before witnessing a 27 percent decline in the second quarter to KD892 million.

Although the pace of decline slowed in the third quarter, remittances still dropped to KD868 million. On average, monthly remittances abroad by expatriates was around KD330 million, a drop of KD140 million each month, from the KD470 monthly average during the same nine-month period a year ago.



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