Regional online bookings soar to 31%

A YouGov survey of 22,600 MENA residents has revealed that regional online bookings grew to 31% in 2014, up 10% year-on-year. Nadege Noblet

Of those surveyed 25% used their smartphones to book hotels online while mobile usage to access online travel guides or to book leisure activities rose by 6%.

“Throughout the region, we are witnessing major growth in online bookings as airlines, tour operators and hotels develop ever-more sophisticated digital platforms and social media strategies to ensure they reach out effectively to both existing and potential guests,” said Nadege Noblet (pictured), exhibition manager of Arabian Travel Market, which takes place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, on 4-7 May.

“The industry as a whole is embracing technology like never before, to compete in a digital market place where accessibility and speed are critical to the demands of today’s tech-savvy travellers, especially mobile compatible sites for hotels, tour operators and leisure attractions,” added Noblet.

The data also revealed that spontaneous decision making when choosing a destination had also increased by 11% due to upgraded technology.

Paul Richer, senior partner of travel technology consultancy, Genesys, will host two dedicated seminar sessions at this year’s exhibition addressing a range of topics including latest developments in mobile, digital marketing and digital distribution issues and how these are impacting the consumer.

TIME Hotels Management, the first group in the UAE to introduce ‘cloud’ collaboration software across all of its IT platforms, has had technology at its core for some time.

“Technological developments, now more than ever, are playing a major role in the hospitality industry, something we look to harness and develop to ensure we remain at the cutting edge of advances. Greater guest interaction, more targeted campaigns and better internal systems are all advantages we have seen through our technological upgrades,” said Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels.

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