The awards started in Jeddah on February 20, followed by Riyadh on February 22 and Dammam on February 28, 2017.
With Saudi Arabia’s travel and tourism industry increasingly in the spotlight as a driving sector for growth in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy, the event also provided a networking platform for the travel industry’s stakeholders and key opinion leaders on how technology can be leveraged to drive high performances in travel and meet traveller demands; personalising their travel experiences and further connecting them to a world of travel choice. There are currently 900,000 Saudis in tourism and related sectors and this number is expected to rise to 1.2 million in the period leading up to 2030.
Saudi Arabia leads the Middle Eastern region in terms of Internet penetration and with a young, tech-savvy population, e-commerce is a thriving industry in Saudi Arabia. Online travel sales have been growing faster than offline sales. Internet penetration is high and growing in Saudi Arabia and the population is becoming more aware and accepting of the idea of making purchases online. Mobile travel sales are also growing fuelled by mobile device penetration.
Rabih Saab, President and Managing Director of Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia commented, “The Saudi travel and tourism industry is on the rise and we are very proud of our partnerships in the region, both on the travel agent community and airlines side. While uncertainty is a theme in the global economy in 2017, demand for international tourism remains high. Travelport sits at the heart of the travel industry and with Saudi tourism revenues predicted to reach $81 billion by 2026, we are committed to supporting the country’s travel industry players to grow their businesses and meet traveller demands.”