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The Middle East is a growing region with potential to grow even further. Its online travel market value is projected to advance from US$18 billion to US$35 billion in the next three years, according to a soon-to-be published study conducted by PhocusWright in partnership with Amadeus.
The report, ‘Middle East Online Travel Overview’, focuses on a wide sample including Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The findings show the online travel agency sector is achieving significant consolidation with increasing competition between direct suppliers and intermediaries while traditional tour operators become more and more online channel friendly.
The report highlights that the growing smartphone penetration and connectivity among the young population together with a thriving airline sector in the Middle East will soon result in a multi-segmented online travel industry. The UAE is expected to lead the way with 42% online travel penetration by 2018, well ahead of the 36% growth forecast for the whole GCC region during the same period.