Fitch Solutions expected the number of travelers from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia to grow by nearly 190 percent in 2022, bringing their number to 943.7 thousand passengers from Kuwait, compared to 323.3 thousand passengers in 2021, suggesting that the number of travelers from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia will continue to rise until 2026.
In the year 2024 specifically, the number of passengers will reach about 2 million people, and 2.2 million people in 2026. In its report, the agency said that Saudi Arabia will maintain its rank as the largest departure destination for Kuwait in the Middle East during 2022 to 2026, pointing out that there are positive expectations in the medium term for travelers coming from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia.
It expected the total number of passengers from Kuwait to reach 1.8 million people this year, an 80% growth over 2021, which recorded 986,700 passengers.
Saudi Arabia will be the largest destination for departure from Kuwait this year. Fitch Solutions said that travel from Kuwait is expected to fully recover in 2024, as their total travel will reach 3.8 million people, which is the highest level from the pre-Corona outbound travel level of 3.7 million passengers in 2019.
She pointed out that the total number of travelers from Kuwait will continue to increase until 2026 to reach 4.9 million people in that year, stressing that the increase in the departure of travelers from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia will be translated into an average annual growth of 40.3 percent annually from this year until the end of 2026.
And she continued: Travelers from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia mainly depend on air travel. There are a number of airlines that operate direct flights from Kuwait to major Saudi cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Abha and Hail.
Fitch Solutions indicated that despite the positive expectations for consumer spending in Kuwait for the current year, there are risks that stem mainly from high inflation and prices, pointing out that this may be reflected on the tourism sector in reducing the population in Kuwait spending on travel and hospitality, as they are currently unnecessary in order to direct their spending on necessary things such as housing and services and cover the high costs of food prices.
She added: This shift in consumer spending in Kuwait may lead to reduced travel and replaced by spending vacations in resorts inside Kuwait, or traveling to short-term destinations in the region (journey times range from 30 minutes to 3 hours).
Fitch Solutions expected that Bahrain will receive more than 210,000 passengers from Kuwait in 2022, a growth of 70.8% from 2021, which recorded 123,200 passengers from Kuwait, and it is likely that travel from Kuwait to Bahrain will fully recover in 2023, bringing the number of travelers to Manama to 317,000, increasing about the pre-coronavirus level.
She added: The annual growth rate of travel from Kuwait to Bahrain will reach 33.7 percent until 2026, bringing the number of travelers from Kuwait to Bahrain to 488.8 thousand passengers in that year.
Fitch Solutions said that the best travel destinations from Kuwait in 2022 are:
1 – Saudi Arabia.
2 – Turkey.
3 – Emirates.
4 – Bahrain.
5 – Britain.
The agency reported that while the Kingdom is a major destination for performing Hajj and Umrah in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah.
However, the Saudi authorities are making unremitting efforts to promote the country as a prime destination for leisure travel. These efforts form a major part of “Vision 2030”, which aims to diversify the economy and its revenues and reduce its dependence on oil.
The agency expected the growth of consumer spending in Kuwait on hospitality at an average rate of 10.3% from this year until 2026, to rise from 480 million dinars in 2022 to 2.1 billion dinars in 2026, and indicated that the share of spending on hospitality will constitute 4.1% of total household spending in Kuwait in 2022 and will rise to 4.7% in 2026 (compared to 4.2% in 2019).