Staycations and short flights are on the rise as the coronavirus pandemic eases Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Short flights and staycations are in big demand as well as repatriations as the travel industry picks up post coronavirus.

Mohsin Kidwai

Mohsin Kidwai, senior general manager at Orient Travels, said, “Staycations have become very trendy now. But they’re very short and many residents and nationals are often calling and asking about what countries are possible to travel to and what places are safe.”

With many countries opening up after lockdowns, a number of safe destinations are accessible from the UAE, Kidwai says, “Georgia is a country in high demand. Of course, the travelers have to follow certain guidelines. The Maldives and some areas in Indian subcontinent are also often inquired about as well. People are opting for more isolated areas.”

Kidwai believes that UAE precautions have trained people for what to expect when travelling abroad and guidelines in the country have taught people how to stay safe.

“Short flights to countries near the UAE are in high demand,” he added. “We had a lot of interest from clients to visit Uzbekistan, but we recently heard that there has been a spike in their cases, so we immediately informed the clients.”

Kidwai states that although people are seeking a short trip to change their environment and refresh after many months of staying home, he does not believe that there is a safer place than the UAE, “People who want to travel are not seeking a safer alternative than the UAE, because there isn’t one. Few people are traveling by choice, the majority are only taking urgent flights to attend to certain issues in their home countries or places of business.”

Razi Koya

Abu Dhabi-based Infinity Travel has had a different experience. Business development manager, Razi Koya said, “Repatriation flights are the major demand in the agency. We were able to help many people and issue flights for people trying to return back home.”

UAE agencies have ensured clients are kept updated on international news, Koya added, “We are in contact with the tourism boards in international countries and we are regularly updated on different country’s policies and safety measures. It’s very confusing for some people as the regulations in different countries change all the time so we remain up to date on all the new policies.”

Koya also added, “People are not very confident to leave the county. All tourism inquiries are for August and onwards. London is a big location we are being asked about for the months to come.”

In another agency, Musafir, Anish Nath, the operation manager, said that at their agency they’ve been trying to accommodate the issues that people are facing when trying to go home.

“We spend most of our days solving visa issues and informing people of new regulations,” he said.

Anish Nath

“We understand that families are trying to return back to their loved ones, and we are trying to assist as much as possible. We are also aware that many people have lost their jobs or are suffered from salary cuts, so we are catering to people’s requests to find the most affordable price. We are giving the clients tickets at the cost of the airline because our only priority is to get people home safely.”