UAE's online travel industry expected to exceed $9bn by 2014
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, November 14 - 2012 at 14:31
- PRESS RELEASE
The UAE has emerged as the most mature market for travel and tourism, owning 47% of the total market and 60% of the online market in the Middle East, a new research released by Global Travel Market Research firm PhoCusWright has revealed.
According to projections by PhoCusWright, the total online travel market in the UAE will grow from $4.8bn in 2011 to $9.5bn in 2014, highlighting a breakdown of 31% rise in 2012, 24% in 2013 and 22% in 2014.
Antoine Medawar, Vice President, Amadeus Middle East and North Africa, said: "Such staggeting figures are indicative of the fast evolving travel landscape in the UAE. The UAE traveller has been identified as the most sophisticated in the Middle East in terms of technology adoption, owing to high mobile, internet and broadband penetration rates. It is evident, therefore, that technology companies must prioritise providing the industry with the right tools to support the growth of the online travel sector."
Smartphones represent 62% of total mobile phones in the UAE. The report cited that 43% of these users browse the internet for travel-related information and 54% make an online purchase.
It was further revealed that gross bookings made by Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are expected to rise from $1.7bn in 2011 to $3.2bn in 2014.
Medawar added: "The increase in the number of bookings made by online travel agencies in the regionnot only highlights a definite shift from traditional booking methods but also demonstrates the evolution and expansion of the industry as a whole. In fact, PhoCusWright points out that the total contribution of travel & tourism to the UAE's GDP in 2011 was 13.5%, amounting to $48bn, andis forecast to rise by 4.5% in 2012. With an increased focus on investment in infrastructure, expansion of the aviation industry and promotion of niche tourism, the UAE has confidently placed itself on the map of global competitiveness."
PhoCusWright anticipates gross bookings by traditional airlines to increase from $16.5bn in 2011 to $26.2bn in 2014 and low cost carriers (LLCs) to increase from $1.4bn in 2011 to $2bn in 2014. Bookings made in the lodging segment have been estimated to rise from $6.1bn in 2011 to $7.5bn in 2014, while the UAE car rental space is expected to see an increase from $76m bookings in 2011 to $84.4m in 2014.
The economic downturn followed by the Arab Spring has been cited as the driving force behind the growth of tourism to the UAE. In 2010, the UAE's expenditure on international and domestic tourism was approximately $12bn and the nation recorded 9.2 million inbound and 4 million outbound tourists. It is projected that approximately $234bn will be pumped into the construction industry for tourism-related projects through 2018.
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