From 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, bookings made in the UAE through all global distribution systems (GDS) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia increased by 30,000, up 11 per cent on the previous 12 months. Bookings to Azerbaijan rose by nearly 20,000, up 50 per cent, and to Nepal by just over 15,000, up 27 per cent.
Matthew Powell, Travelport’s managing director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, said: “Growth in flight bookings tends to be driven by increased airline capacity, rises in demand from leisure travellers and economic or political advances, which attract more commercial interest. The results we’re seeing here cut across all of these.
“The growth in booking volume to Saudi Arabia reflects the country’s escalating attractiveness as a tourist hotspot, the strength of business ties with the UAE and new capacity added by airlines like Etihad. Azerbaijan also continues to be a standout performer. The number of tourists arriving from Arab countries has increased more than 30 times in recent years, buoyed by new capacity from carriers such as flydubai. Nepal has also benefited from additional flights being added to world renowned tourist destinations like Kathmandu and its state-owned carrier, Nepal Airlines, resuming flights to and from Dubai after a four-year hiatus.”
Kuwait and Ethiopia completed the top five positions in the table compiled by Travelport. Kuwait saw an increase of just over 13,500 (+16 per cent) in bookings made in the UAE through all GDS, while Ethiopia recorded a rise of just over 13,000 (+36 per cent). Out of the ten countries with the largest volume growth, the biggest movers in terms of percentage were Armenia, which saw an increase in flight bookings made in the UAE through all GDS of 142 per cent during the last 12 months, and Georgia, which registered a rise of 80 per cent.
Powell added: “Over the years, Travelport has invested significantly in developing analytics products for travel agents and airlines as we recognize the scale of the impact they can have on their bottom line. Even relatively straight forward booking analysis, like we have done here, can help travel agents evolve the packages they offer in line with traveller demand. It can also support airlines in identifying needs to dial up or down flight capacity on certain routes. We are already seeing business won and lost through the effective analysis of industry, business and competitive data, and this will only happen more in the years to come as companies become more sophisticated in how they use it.”
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.