Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00
Expatriate tourists purchase packages for serene hideouts like Sri Lanka:
Beaches and backwaters proving to be an attraction
Sri Lanka this year is among the top Eid destinations along with India and Thailand with many UAE residents opting for distant destinations rather than heading for neighbourhood areas, the Khaleej Times reports.
In Asia, Thailand and Malaysia remain at the top of the list. However, India and Sri Lanka are also getting some interest this year, particularly among the UAE nationals.
This Eid, residents in the Capital are opting to travel far rather than staying in or heading for neighbourhood areas, as per a random check with some of the leading travel agencies, according to the Khaleej Times. Rizwan Butt, a Dubai-based biker, who organised a charity bike ride across Sri Lanka during the holidays, said he paid almost 10 percent more than the normal fares to book tickets for his group comprising 26 riders.
Mohammed Abdulla Al Fahim, general manager for products and services at Al Fahim Group, whose company Safar Travel & Tourism has a substantial stake in the Capitalâ€™s travel trade told Khaleej Times that though the favourite destination this season is Thailand, expatriate tourists purchased packages for serene, majestic and economically affordable tourist hideouts like Sri Lanka and Maldives.
â€śWe donâ€™t have many domestic bookings, (nor do we have any) for Muscat and Salalah,â€ť said Mary Thomas, managing director of Bin Moosa Travel. â€śWe donâ€™t experience the rush there used to be (for these places) anymore.â€ť
Thomas said mountainous areas, beaches and the backwaters in countries such as Sri Lanka are proving to be an attraction for the residents here.