Having exceeded its projected sales targets by 30 per cent in its first four months of operation, tajawal – a home-grown online travel platform for airline tickets and hotels booking – has announced plans to rapidly expand over the next three to five years.
The announcement – made at ATM this week – was made as part of Saudi Arabia’s Al Tayyar Travel Group plans to make a strong investment push into the online space.
The move comes following the success of tajawal’s beta-testing phase – during which the start-up crossed the one million dollar sales figure in only six weeks. Driven by a strategic vision to redefine the online airline tickets and hotel booking experience in the Middle East, tajawal is already exceeding business expectations and the digital booking engine is reportedly confident of hitting sales of a billion dollars in less than five years, with a double-digit month-on-month growth.
The platform has also surpassed its originally planned sales figures by 30 per cent, while keeping its spend 40 per cent lower than budgeted. Within only four months, the online travel platform has firmly secured its position among the top three players in the regional online airline booking space, with a strong foothold in Saudi Arabia. While the beta-testing phase focused on launching their flight product, tajawal is set to launch its hotel booking engine in May, 2016.
“As a group, we have decided to massively push into the eCommerce place and have started to deploy a multi-hundred-million Dollar amount to back our ambitions. In addition to our investments in existing online players in various segments, we have established tajawal to become our online and mobile focused technology hub. Not only do we regard tajawal as an additional line of business contributing to our top as well as bottom line results, we also aim to shape the future of the home-grown travel industry in the Middle East, especially considering that online travel bookings will account for over 35 per cent of regional travel and tourism sales by end of 2017,” said group CEO, Al Tayyar Travel Group, Abdullah Bin Nasser Aldawood.
Meanwhile founder and CEO, tajawal, Muhammad Chbib added: “The online travel market offers a multi-billion dollar opportunity that is largely untapped in the region. We aim to fill this gap by creating a travel platform for mobile and web, based on an understanding of localized requirements. We firmly believe that in order to become MENA’s first choice for travel bookings, you need to be deeply rooted in the region. In addition, we very much benefit from our international online and technology experience, which will enable us to innovate in areas such as Halal Travel and Islamic Tourism in addition to personal and corporate travel management. As part of a successful travel giant like Al Tayyar Travel Group and with the unlimited support of the group, we look forward to creating a sustainable and profitable online travel business that will hopefully become a showcase in MENA’s travel and technology sector.”
Currently, 75 per cent of tajawal’s sales are generated from the website, while 25 per cent comes from its free mobile applications, available for IOS and Android operating systems in English and Arabic. Saudi Arabian customers account for 65 per cent of the bookings, while the remaining 35 per cent originate mostly in the UAE.
tajawal is exhibiting at stand ME1110.