More than 100 regional travel industry leaders gathered at the recently concluded Amadeus Fly by Digital Summit in Dubai, to share and discuss ways to improve the travel experience through the use of new online platforms in the Middle East.
This year’s event homed in on how industry players can better attract, showcase, sell and service travellers in the region as more commerce is integrated into the digital realm.
Sharing their insight during the Amadeus Fly by Digital Summit were executives from Google, PayFort, Musafir, Souqalmal.com and Amadeus, amongst others.
Vice president – MENA, Amadeus, Antoine Medawar commented: “By connecting the industry, harnessing bold technologies and finding new ways to make travel more rewarding, the Middle East’s online travel industry can sustain its recent momentum. It will also be prepared for the future Arab traveller, born in the Internet era, who demands different approaches across devices. This is the role the industry needs to play in order to define the future of travel over the coming decade.”
During the event, Amadeus additionally shed light on findings from the third edition of the Middle East Online Travel Overview study, conducted by Phocuswright and co-sponsored by Amadeus, which provides an overall assessment on the health of the Middle East digital travel market.
The study revealed that total gross bookings in the Middle East for air, hotel, car and tour services totalled $74 billion last year, with an estimated annual growth rate of eight per cent between now and 2020. Of this total, online travel bookings comprised a 29 per cent share, which is forecast to reach over 40 per cent by the year 2021 as consumers’ preferences shift towards digital retail.
Managing director, Amadeus Gulf, Graham Nichols declared: “Many have been quick to claim that operating a digital business requires a completely new mindset. In some instances, this may be true, but it’s also important to highlight that creating a shopping experience in the digital world requires many of the same considerations as the physical world.
“We were pleased to bring these considerations forward at Fly By Digital this year, which happens to coincide with Amadeus celebrating 30 years of keeping the travel sector moving forward,” he concluded.