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Travel technology & mobile apps are expected to drive agencies in UAE, Saudi Arabia & Qatar

Mobile app forms an eminent part of Travel technology. Today we have a mobile app dedicated for every sphere of travel. Right from booking flight tickets to booking hotel room and car rentals, to finding the travel location and knowing the places to visit at a particular destination. We have mobile app to make our travel experience smooth and joyful. Qatar and Saudi Arabia has a huge room for growth of travel industry. Great use of travel technology, agent assisted travel CRM and use of mobile devices are expected to drive Qatar’s online travel industry towards a 15% to 20% growth by 2015 but local travel agencies are yet to take the lion’s share of the market, which is dominated by major web based travel websites.The coming years would see mobile apps as an important part of the travel business. They would be the source behind the success of travel management companies, along with travel technology and travel apps.

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According operations director for technology solutions provider Amadeus Qatar, the local market is spending $700mn in online travel bookings annually. But the country’s local travel agencies did not benefit from the amount but instead was exploited by prominent Internet-based travel websites outside Qatar.

Related: Travel Portal Company India

Qatar’s online travel industry is still at its “infancy stage” with many travel agencies unable to maximize the use of their websites. Other travel agencies are yet to let go from “traditional” industry practices.

While many travel agencies in Qatar own websites, only quite a few are successful. And these are the leading agencies doing 20 to 30 online bookings per day and at the same time are able to book hundreds of trips offline.

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But with the ubiquitous presence mobile devices in the market and a younger generation making travel-related arrangements and other bookings on their smartphones, Qatar’s online travel industry is expected to experience a 15% to 20% growth by 2015.

Qatar’s online travel industry is still in its infancy stage but when you look at the global picture, 70% to 80% of bookings in Canada and the US are done online. So that shift is just starting here and in about five years, majority of bookings from this entire market will be online. In UAE and Saudi Arabia, its only a little better.

A study conducted revealed that the average traveller from Qatar spends $3,650 on regional trips and $6,690 on international trips; 64% of business travellers from the country prefer traveling alone (the highest in the region) while 33% prefer to travel with business colleagues, 3% are undecided.

Related: Amadeus GDS Software

The report added that 9% of “seasonal travellers” from Qatar travel during Haj while 68% travel during Ramadan and 23% travel “at other times.” Also, 28% of travellers from Qatar prefer to travel alone while 72% prefer to travel with their family and friends.

It also determined that Qatar’s Internet penetration is 75% of the total population with 33% of Qatar’s travellers using smart phones to make travel-related arrangements; 48% of Qatar’s business travellers use online travel agents for end-to-end services.

Also, 52% use direct carrier websites while 21% of Qatar’s luxury travellers used online travel agents and 79% used direct carrier websites.

Other statistics show that 33% of Qatar’s business travellers paid using corporate debit cards while 26% used personal debit cards, 8% used company credit cards and 9% used personal credit cards.

Thus local travel agencies should focus on creating a niche in the online travel industry by specializing on medical or adventure tourism, among others.

Another strategy is to maximise their presence on social media and capitalise on the existing technology available today in order to drive the market to their websites and bring more customers to their shops.

RF – Gulf Time

Which are the top hotel APIs suppliers and consolidators in hospitality domain?

Globally, there are many top hotel suppliers. Expedia, GTA, Hotelbeds, Hotelspro to name a few. At local level, even some of the top DMCs also consolidate very good hotel inventory. One should select a hotel consolidator based on the target geography.


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