Georgia and Turkey top Eid getaways: Bahrain
Getaways to Georgia and Turkey over the Eid holiday have taken off as travel agencies and tour operators rejoice in the return of international vacations with the rollback of Covid-19 restrictions.
Turkey and Georgia have become popular destinations, while families are reluctant to visit places like Azerbaijan due to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict in the region.
“Since Bahrain had very few restrictions during much of the Covid-19 pandemic, most expat families have already visited their home countries and are taking advantage of Eid holidays to visit destinations like Istanbul, Ankara and Tbilisi,” said the managing director of Bahrain International Travel, CD. Singh told GDN.
This year’s holiday started with a weekend on Friday and Saturday, followed immediately by Labor Day on Sunday.
However, if Sunday was declared the first day of Eid, the holiday would run from Sunday to Tuesday, with Wednesday given to workers as a day off in compensation for Sunday. And, if Eid was declared on Monday, the break days would also automatically continue until Wednesday. This means that public and private sector workers are expected to return to work on May 5.
Many had hoped the odd working day split between two weekends, Eid Al Fitr and Labor Day, would become a special national holiday, after a call from MPs.
Travel agents previously revealed no bookings were changed or canceled when it became clear the extra day would not be included.
While some families opt for three- to four-day getaways, others have planned months in advance and are leaving next Thursday for 10-day trips.
According to Singh, Turkey, in particular, is very popular among expats and citizens due to its low costs and variety of leisure options.
Interestingly, travel agencies are also seeing more and more requests for trips to countries like Tanzania and Uganda, where holidaymakers have more experiential options, including wildlife safaris and mountain exploration. Some agencies also see Egypt as another popular travel destination, with families packing their bags to travel to the country for stays of seven to ten days.
“We’re also seeing families packing more than one destination into their trips, especially if they’re going for longer stays,” Magnum Travel Services managing director Haifa Oun said.
Overall, travel agencies are once again seeing an increase in queries and finding that their customers are much more optimistic about the months ahead.
Many families are booking trips to European destinations like Italy for the summer.
“During the pandemic, most of the questions we received from our customers were about local travel restrictions and Covid-19 precautions, but now most of our customers just need to know what vaccines are accepted,” said explained Ms. Oun.
On a larger scale, resort and vacation packages remain the most popular options, but some families are also opting for more organized and personalized trips, with a wide range of budgets.
Mr Singh estimates that families traveling to Turkey spend an average of BD 200-250 per person for a seven-day trip, while those heading to Georgia spend BD 500-600 per person for a four- to five-day trip. .
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