Rabih Saab

Drive to personalisation in Middle East

With the travel and tourism investment in the Middle East rising and digital consumption in the UAE and Saudi Arabia expected to reach high levels of personalisation by 2021, innovation in travel tech is supporting the industry’s growth through exposing travellers to more travel choices.

TT Bureau

Leading travel commerce platform, Travelport is participating at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) from April 24-27, 2017, and will throw light on how travel tech is allowing airlines and travel agents to meet Middle East travellers’ demands, and grow their businesses, by providing a more personalised travel experience with more relevant travel choices to all the region’s travellers. With today’s youngest working segment–the millennial generation–estimated to become the largest workforce segment by 2030, travel industry players in the Middle East are leveraging technology to meet the needs of millennials who tend to be higher spenders than their global peers with regards to travel.

In the GCC, millennials account for a quarter of the population and they have grown up surrounded by and adapting to technology. The region’s travel industry is feeling the clout of their spending power already and it is estimated that millennials in the UAE will generate $40,000 average annual gross income by 2019 with almost half of them book travel through mobile devices. Travel apps have become the millennials preferred method of interacting with brands, almost 1/3 more than past generations. Mobile applications are great platforms to create personalised offers. For airlines, the key can be the travel behaviour already known to the airline through past purchases tied to the user’s booking account.

In the Middle East, leading airlines such as Etihad have launched successful travel apps which deliver innovative digital travel solutions for their travellers, improving the travel experience. Low cost carriers strengthening expansions in the Gulf such as India’s largest airline, IndiGo, also provide strong mobile retailing examples. Research indicates low cost carriers have high growth opportunities in the Middle East. With rising business and tourism stemming from the Gulf, carriers such as IndiGo have recently launched new routes in the UAE and have been key adaptors of innovative technology to reach new travellers in the region.

Speaking ahead of ATM, Rabih Saab, Travelport’s President and Managing Director for Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, commented, “Travel tech is an exciting place to be right now. We are increasingly living in an experiential world. Mobile penetration in the Middle East is astronomical, across the GCC almost 80 per cent of the population are mobile subscribers. Smart travel brands will continue to look at how mobile can help bridge the gap between generic experiences and ones where the end-traveller feels truly engaged and supported. Brands will thrive or decline depending on the experiences delivered to travellers and how relevant and personalised these experiences are. Travelport’s technologies and unique Travel Commerce Platform is leading the industry in providing technology solutions to ensure our airline and travel agency partners flourish in this pivotal point in time for our industry.”

ATM visitors can experience Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform in action at Sheikh Saeed Hall 1 – Stand TT1520.

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