Insight into High Prices of Trips and Domestic Tourism: Al-Marsad Newspaper Reveals Reasons and Solutions

2024-04-12 07:08:45

Al-Marsad newspaper: Writer Badr bin Saud revealed the reason for the high prices of trips and domestic tourism, especially during the holidays.

travelling abroad

He said during an article published in Al-Riyadh newspaper entitled “Do not travel during Eid,” that people in the Kingdom prefer to travel abroad on Eid al-Fitr vacation, or during the period between April 13 and 23 of the current year, and they usually choose destinations, the first of which is Britain, Russia, Turkey, Thailand, and Egypt.

City of Jeddah

He continued, the Saudi city of Jeddah excels in domestic Eid tourism, and it has been the custom for a long time for Saudis and others to flock there on short vacations, or for it to be their last local stop before international travel.

Britain and Russia

He added, the bias towards Britain and Russia is due to the ease of obtaining visas for the two countries, which is within five days, and their reasonable prices, as the price of a British visa does not exceed the value of ten pounds sterling, while a Saudi does not need a visa to visit Thailand, and among the least popular destinations is Paris. France, although the number of rats there is more than its population, according to what its municipality said.

High prices for airline tickets

He continued, the problem appears to be in the high prices of foreign air tickets. A ticket to Britain on Eid may reach five thousand riyals, or 1,334 dollars, compared to two thousand riyals, or 534 dollars, on normal days, and it increases to Turkey from eight hundred riyals, or 214 dollars, to two thousand four hundred. Riyals or $650, with a rate of up to 150% in both cases. What is astonishing is that the flight to Jeddah from Riyadh and Dammam increases by more than 200% in the same period, and may exceed international flight prices.

Tourist season

He added, some of those who defend the high prices of trips and domestic tourism link it to the purchasing power of the Saudi riyal at home, and that it is no different from what is practiced in other countries. It is true that the Saudi tourist season is short, and investors in tourist programs and trips are trying to compensate for their expenses throughout the year through it. Other than that, the culture of dealing with tourist groups is still immature, and it is treated as an individual person, whether in ticket prices, or in hotel reservations, and they do not give them discounts of up to half the value of the ticket or accommodation, as happens in most countries of the world, and both matters require Understandings between the Ministry of Tourism and the Civil Aviation Authority to control these unsuccessful efforts and agree on a clear mechanism of action. Because raising the value of the ticket and accommodation raises the value of the tourism program at home, and may on average bring it to three times its value, and evidence of this is: its increase from 7,000 riyals, or 1,867 dollars, to 25,000 riyals, which is equivalent to 6,067 dollars, and this example concerns the city of the Prophet. Prayers and peace, and the previous suffering is not limited to citizens, and includes – according to those in the know – Muslim tourists from America, Europe, the Balkan countries, Central Asia and Turkey, and the experience of tourists and travelers there must be improved, especially since Saudi Airlines customers will increase by three times, or from 100 million to 330 million. In the near future, the national carrier was ranked 23rd in 2023, and is targeted to enter the list of the top five airlines in the world.

240 aircraft

He pointed out that there are 240 aircraft in the Kingdom distributed between the national carrier (Saudi Arabia), Flynas and Adele, if we take Al Khayala, Gulf and Sama out of the equation, as they are considered projects that have been halted or have not succeeded. The former is less than global averages, which assume the provision of eight and a half aircraft per million. There are six aircraft available in Saudi Arabia for every million people, and companies must be increased to at least six, provided that they are economical in their costs, and not to monopolize a travel route for the benefit of a single carrier, because the routes of some destinations are operated by only one carrier, or have scheduling opportunities. Flights that are not comparable to its competitors, and this violates the principle of fair competition, and perhaps it is the main reason for manipulating and raising prices. A study by the Oliver Wyman Group in 2022 stated that the pilot sector in the Arabian Gulf region will face a shortage in their numbers in 2032, with up to three thousand pilots from A total of eighty thousand, representing the global shortage of pilots, and this happens with the presence of unemployed Saudi pilots, and their nationalization rate has stopped at 70%.

The argument for direct flights

He continued, the prices of Saudi Airlines flights at home and abroad are very high, especially during seasons and holidays, and some officials use the argument of direct and transit flights in international aviation, and that the first is higher in price than the second, because it does not lead to a loss in the traveler’s time, and the above is acceptable, but acquaintances The difference should not exceed 15%, and the bottom line is that it may reach four times this percentage. Attention must be given to local tourists as well as international ones, and one party should not be neglected for the benefit of another. In addition, the price of a round-trip ticket to and from Jeddah during the seasons and in economy class may have reached To 3,400 riyals, or about 907 dollars, while the minimum wage is 4,000 riyals per month, or 1,067 dollars, which means that the remaining amount is 160 dollars, assuming the person travels alone, and I do not imagine that it is sufficient for accommodation and food without entertainment.

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