Saudi Arabia Umrah Pilgrimage Numbers Drop 30%
The number of people making the umrah pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia has fallen 30% due to swine flu related travel restrictions. Visa applications for travel to Saudi Arabia during umrah have been suspended by Egypt, Iran, and Iraq. Fursan Travel Company, based in Saudi Arabia, is concerned about the affect this will have on the economy. CEO Roger Pfund said “The decision to ban people travelling due to the H1N1 pandemic is respected, however the longer term impact on the economy can not be understated.”
Mr. Pfund said there is a significant decline in travel compared to the same period last year and he expects based on current levels, numbers will be down by one third. Official figures show there has been over 177,000 cases of swine flu and 1,176 deaths around the world.
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