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Online travel bookings to rise in Middle East to 36 per cent in 2017

Offline sales expected to continue to grow from $54bn in 2014 to $63bn in 2017

A recent study forecasts online travel bookings, which represent 25 per cent of all bookings in the Middle East, to grow to 36 per cent by the end of 2017.

According to the study, the revenues of the online travel bookings in the Middle East are expected to reach $35 billion, reports Alriyadh Newspaper.

Offline travel bookings’ sales are expected to continue to grow from $54bn in 2014 to $63bn in 2017, according to the newspaper.

On the sidelines of a high profile summit held in Istanbul last month to discuss the role of technology in shaping the Middle East travel industry, Rabih Saab, Travelport’s president and managing director for Africa, Middle East and South Asia, said: “Given the ever-changing and rapid-paced environment of the travel industry, it’s paramount for those parts of it to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to how technology is redefining the industry. “

He added: “Current trends, such as airlines increasingly driving business growth through differentiation of their product offerings and the strong emergence of ‘hybrid’ travel agents in the Middle East – those whose transactions take place online and offline – are shaping the industry, and technology is redefining the platform to support and fuel these trends.”

($1 = AED3.67, at the time of publishing)