A third of Saudis plan to work while on holiday next year

Survey by Skyscanner reveals the kingdom's travel trends for 2023

Dozens of countries offer digital nomad visas, including the UAE. Many Saudis are expected to work while on holiday next year, a poll found. Photo: Unsplash
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A third of Saudis are planning to work while on their holidays next year, a new survey shows.

About 32 per cent of those surveyed said they “enjoy working while travelling”, according to a Skyscanner study, which outlined travel predictions for Saudi holidaymakers in 2023.

Remote working has boomed in recent years, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic upended traditional work set-ups — in some cases even leading to countries introducing digital nomad visas.

Dozens of countries have this visa option, including the UAE.

As per the Skyscanner data, three cities that offer digital nomad visas could be an ideal choice for Saudis who plan to work remotely next year, including Mexico City, Zagreb and Madrid, all of which have relatively cheaper costs of living than Riyadh.

Holiday productivity is not new. A global survey by American project management company Wrike showed that up to 40 per cent of workers last year were planning to work while on their summer holidays.

Some even said staying connected to work, while on a beach somewhere in South-east Asia, made a holiday “less stressful”.

The blurring of boundaries between work and personal life has drawn ire from experts.

An article on Harvard Business Review said spending holidays working “undermines intrinsic motivation”, which it explained as one of the most important factors that determines how long people stay committed to their jobs.

Vienna among most popular destinations

The recent Skyscanner report, which surveyed 2,000 respondents in Saudi Arabia, showed that more people want to go on a trip next year. A total of 62 per cent said they'd be spending the same if not more on holidays, with more than 40 per cent willing to prioritise spending on travel over other major purchases.

The most-searched-for destinations on the travel-planning site included Vienna, London and Los Angeles for family trips, while couples were looking at Manila, Bangkok and Rome for their 2023 travel plans.

There has been a 32 per cent price drop in Vienna from pre-pandemic levels. Jacek Dylag / Unsplash

Solo travelling is also looking to be a hit for Saudis next year, with more than half of respondents (56 per cent) reporting they were considering taking one. About 44 per cent said a solo trip could be important for their mental well-being.

An older trend called forest bathing also came up in the survey, as more Saudis consider a nature-focused trip — think walking tours in local vicinities or interacting with endemic animals.

The term 'forest bathing' was coined in Japan, when the government encouraged tourists and residents to “absorb the forest atmosphere” as a psychological exercise.

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Updated: December 02, 2022, 9:49 AM