Online travel on an upward trend

Mark Walsh, portfolio director at Reed Travel Exhibitions
Mark Walsh, portfolio director at Reed Travel Exhibitions

The online travel industry is witnessing a surge and this growth is also being witnessed in mobile online travel trends. Riding on this growth, Arabian Travel Market will highlight key issues at the Travel Technology Theatre. The focus will be on the effects of mobile and internet penetration on the regional travel industry.

Mark Walsh, portfolio director at Reed Travel Exhibitions said: “Of the regional travelers who generally plan their trips online, 48% had used a smart phone during the previous 12 months to carry out travel-related activities, a figure that rises to 69% if tablets are included. Indeed, 50% and 35% of Saudi and UAE travelers respectively access online services via their smart phones.”

However, the Middle East’s online, let alone its mobile travel market, is only scratching the surface. Given the region’s demographics, in particular a young growing population, and the fact according to CISCO, number of mobile devices in the Middle East and Africa will rise exponentially from the current 133 million to 598 million devices by 2017, the trend is likely to accelerate in the years ahead.

“The growing travel technology trend is also evident in the exhibition with 72 exhibitors participating this year, a 22% increase over last year,” said Walsh.

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