Egypt came out on top for most popular destinations for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) based travellers for the second quarter of 2018 according to a study by Wego, an online travel marketplace.
The study credited the country’s historical sites, river cruises, cultural experiences and value for money as the factors at play for it's consistent popularity.
India came up right behind Egypt to take the second spot beating out Saudi Arabia. The south Asian country ranked fourth last year in the same period. Saudi Arabia has been pushed down to the third spot but remains a popular destination for domestic and international visitors who travel for business, leisure and religious purposes.
Turkey took the fourth place in Q2 while UAE remained in the fifth position, same as last year during the same period.
Travel to the Philippines from the MENA region saw strong growth in Q2 2018. This appears to have been caused by expats travelling home during Ramadan, marketing efforts by the Philippine Department of Tourism and the opening up of new airline routes, the report stated.
Lebanon has jumped four spots and ranks 11th. The jump in ranking, the notes, is caused by a combination of GCC-based Lebanese expats travelling home for summer vacations and interest from affluent GCC tourists looking to escape the summer heat.
Azerbaijan also jumped three spots to 17 compared to last year and this might have to do with its proximity to the region, availability of halal foods, and streamlines visa policies.
In the GCC, Kuwait and Oman both jumped two spots from Q2 2017 to rank 21 and 22 respectively.