Tech-powered personalization

Mamoun Hmedan, Chief Business Officer, Wego, in a recent interview with TRAVTALK, reveals that one of the key travel trends in the region in this age of digitalization is technology empowered personalization.

TT Bureau

Could you share some of the key trends in the region regarding bookings etc?

  • Sustainable and Responsible Tourism: Wego recognizes that sustainability is not just a buzzword; it’s now a defining factor for travellers. Environmental concerns are driving a shift from niche sustainability to a fundamental expectation among modern travellers. Today, travellers actively seek eco-friendly options like eco-conscious hotels and carbon-neutral tours, aiming to make a positive impact on local economies.
  • Tech-Empowered Personalization: In the digital age, technology is reshaping the travel industry. From AI-driven travel planning and virtual reality previews to blockchain-based secure bookings and personalized recommendations, technology allows travellers to customize every aspect of their journeys. Wego envisions even greater integration of technology in the travel sector in 2024, with personalization as the bedrock of exceptional travel experiences.
  • Effortless Travel with Automation: Waiting anxiously for the best travel deals is a thing of the past. Automated bookings have simplified the travel planning process, ensuring a hassle-free experience from start to finish. From securing unbeatable deals to creating automated travel itineraries, automation streamlines travel, enhancing the overall journey for individuals. Wego is leading this paradigm shift.
  • Bleisure is happening in the Middle East, too. And not just in terms of extended stays where the business traveller decides to stay for the weekend, but also in terms of people bringing relatives with them on work trips. It is important for Wego to promote a wide range of travel offers and activities to cater to the various travel preferences.

Tell us more about your acquisition with Travelstop.

Through this acquisition, Wego aims to address the unique challenges faced by businesses operating in emerging markets, such as fragmented travel options and manual expense reporting. The combined platform will provide businesses with a one-stop solution, enabling them to seamlessly manage their corporate travel needs while gaining greater visibility and control over expenses.

As Wego and Travelstop join forces, both companies are excited about the opportunities this acquisition brings. By leveraging each other’s strengths, the combined entity is well-positioned to redefine business travel and expense management in emerging markets and empower companies to navigate the challenges of a rapidly evolving global economy.

What are the top destinations for travellers from Saudi, Egypt and India for 2023?

Top International Destinations from Saudi: As more avid globetrotters are taking to the skies this year and travellers from Saudi are no exception, Wego data found that Cairo, Istanbul, Dubai, Jakarta, and Lahore take the lead as the most popular international destinations from Saudi Arabia in 2023 so far.

Top International Destinations from Egypt: According to Wego’s 2023 data so far, Kuwait and Jeddah are highly favoured by Egyptian travellers as top international destinations due to convenient accessibility and wide range of attractions. Following these two cities are Dubai, Doha, and Muscat.

Top International Destinations from India: According to Wego’s data on the preferred international destinations for Indian travellers in 2023, Dubai and Kuwait top the list, offering accessibility and diverse attractions. Finally, Riyadh, Doha and Muscat complete the list.

Technology has become a way of life for travellers. Would AI be the same in travel?

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a good example of making booking travel easier with the best price, enriching the whole travel experience, analysing data and recommending the optimal personalized experience. The creation of AI with the use of chatbots is helping assist users to access information 24/7, with machine and deep learning allowing AI to collect and understand information on consumer preferences to better serve them. AI and immersive technologies possess immense potential to elevate consumer experiences within the travel industry. At Wego, we are deploying AI in almost every department. AI-powered assistants or chat bots/ enhanced search engines are becoming an important new gatekeeper for any booking business.

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