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Posted On: 27 July 2013 02:29 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

Qataris remain the largest spenders on leisure travel: tour operators

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Local travel and tour operators say Qataris remain the largest spenders on leisure travel but, of late, the number of Asian and Arab expatriate families in higher income brackets buying package tours has been on the rise. Changing demographics and people’s increasing purchasing power are setting in a new trend whereby not all well off expatriate families make their way to their home country for vacationing like before. These are mostly families that have been based here for long, and those whose breadwinners are working in ‘Q companies’ (a reference to companies in the high-paying energy sector), tour operators say. An official from a travel agency said Lebanese are top among the Arab expatriate holidaymakers and Indian families dominate the Asian pack. Favorite holiday destinations of most Asian families are Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia since it is easier to get entry visas, representative of a travel agency said. Many Indian families now prefer to travel home via Colombo, holidaying for a few days in the island country, according to an official from Sri Lankan Airlines. According to sources leisure travel continues to be a craze among Qatari families, and California is the year’s dream destination. Leisure travel during long vacations is a long-standing tradition of Qatari families, said a working Qatari woman. Most Qataris travel first or business class and prefer to stay in luxury hotels overseas, and that is how they end up spending beyond their means. “Many families take bank loans for holidaymaking.” “Seeking a bank loan for leisure travel is normal in our community. Nobody feels odd about it.” Some families even sell properties and other assets like shares to mobilise money for holiday-making overseas during the summer break. Source:Qatar Chronicle