Online air travel ‘to see 13pc CAGR’
Dubai, May 5, 2011
The online air travel sector will experience a 13 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2010 and 2015 in the region, said a report.
Online hotel sales in Middle East and Africa over the period will grow by more than 12 per cent, sharing the top slot with Latin America, added the latest Travel and Tourism Global Overview report from Euromonitor International, a leading provider of business intelligence and market analysis.
“The Middle East is one of the world’s growing tourism destinations and source markets,” said Nadejda Popova, Euromonitor International Travel and Tourism Industry analyst.
She was speaking at WTM (World Travel Market) Vision Conference held recently in Dubai.
“This growth is replicated online over the next five years with web sales across both air travel and accommodation increasing dramatically.”
She added that in the mature online market of Western Europe hotel sales still represented a worthwhile opportunity. Social media is another opening, particularly as airlines such as Delta and easyJet now have transactional Facebook pages.
The study also identified potential negative factors. Popova warned the trend for suppliers to focus on direct sales could “increase conflict” between distribution channels. It is also concerned that high profile bankruptcies and subsequent consumer protection issues could impact consumer sentiment for dynamic packaging operators.
Furthermore, online travel agents’ inability to offer “the personal touch” during the holiday sales process, and ongoing technical difficulties in arranging complex itineraries, are seen as other headwinds.
Air will account for more than 50 per cent of sales by value in North America and Australasia in 2010. For the Middle East and Africa, air represented around 10 per cent of 2010’s value, the report said.
The growth figures for North America are in single digits for air and hotels at 6 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.
World Travel Market chairman Fiona Jeffery, said: “The Middle East’s importance in the global travel and tourism industry is growing every year.”
“Online travel sales are mature in western markets such as the UK and America and the Middle East is catching up over the next five years,” Jeffery added. – TradeArabia News Service