Reed Travel Exhibitions has announced a programme of technology seminars for the Arabian Travel Market, being held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 6th-9th May 2013. The seminars will highlight the increasing shift away from traditional channels, with Internet bookings expected to increase by another US$5.4 billion in 2013 – accounting for 22% of all travel bookings within two years.
Online bookings in the Middle East have grown by almost a third in 2012 to reach just under US$10.4 billion, up 31% on 2011 figures. Regional online travel agencies are expected to grow by 18% between now and 2014, with gross booking value set to almost double from US$3.1 billion to US$5.4 billion in the next two years.
“In 2011 alone, there was a 39% rise in online bookings in the region, and we are seeing a clear shift from dependence on traditional booking channels to online services as the Middle East traveller becomes more comfortable with using the Internet as a convenient and credible resource,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
“Mirroring this sharp rise in the online travel marketplace, floor space in our Technology and Online Wholesalers section for next year’s show is already 78% sold.”