In­dus­try in ME fast adopt­ing dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion

TravTalk - Middle East - - TRAV TALK -

In­bound mar­ket to Dubai is key to its tourism suc­cess. Key mar­kets for Dubai and Golden Sands are In­dia, KSA and UK. In­bound traf­fic ac­counts for the big­gest per­cent­age of tourism busi­ness to Dubai. Trend in travel for this re­gion is still rel­a­tively un­changed with GCC coun­tries still book­ing with short lead time, whilst Eu­ro­pean mar­kets tend to book early. There are also more B2B and B2C com­pa­nies, in­creas­ing the vol­ume of busi­ness com­ing via on­line chan­nels. Hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try is see­ing more com­pa­nies cre­at­ing soft­ware/ apps to not only help in­crease vol­ume of busi­ness but also to im­prove vis­i­bil­ity of one’s prod­ucts. Mil­len­ni­als are those tourists who need to be con­nected and able to post/share in­for­ma­tion on­line as and when they are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing it. Trav­ellers to this re­gion will con­tinue to in­crease as more at­trac­tions, such as Dubai Parks & Re­sorts, open up. Fam­i­lies from within ME will also visit the at­trac­tions, thereby in­creas­ing tourist num­bers. Ad­di­tion­ally, we are see­ing in­creased tourists from ar­eas such as China, and the num­bers will only con­tinue to grow due to the size of its pop­u­la­tion.

ATM is very im­por­tant, it en­ables key peo­ple within the in­dus­try across the globe to meet in an ef­fi­cient and pro­duc­tive man­ner, share knowl­edge and trade, and show­case Dubai. The travel in­dus­try, as most sec­tors cur­rently, is fac­ing chal­lenges that fur­ther high­light the im­por­tance of ATM. It is still an in­no­va­tive and grow­ing sec­tor with de­mand re­main­ing rel­a­tively ro­bust; how­ever, cus­tomers are in­creas­ingly seek­ing more value and lower price points. De­mand for more ‘au­then­tic’ travel ex­pe­ri­ences is also grow­ing. Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion is dis­rupt­ing the sec­tor. Cus­tomers are now more in con­trol of how they source in­spi­ra­tion, search, book and share their travel ar­range­ments and it’s im­por­tant that com­pa­nies un­der­stand these chang­ing cus­tomer needs and adapt the tech­nol­ogy to sup­port. How­ever, great ser­vice and prod­uct de­liv­ery and cus­tomi­sa­tion re­mains im­per­a­tive.

The Ara­bian Travel Mar­ket is the largest travel ex­hi­bi­tion in the re­gion and an ex­cel­lent plat­form to meet our ex­ist­ing clients and net­work with the po­ten­tial ones. We take this op­por­tu­nity to show­case the ex­cel­lent and ex­clu­sive prod­ucts and ser­vices of the na­tional car­rier to In­dia to our val­ued part­ners. As In­dia’s na­tional flag car­rier to the Gulf re­gion since the late 60s we have been con­nect­ing over 13 cities in six coun­tries in GCC/MEA re­gion to 69 do­mes­tic des­ti­na­tions in In­dia and to the US, Europe, Aus­tralia, Far East and South East Asia. The pos­i­tive im­pact of dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion can be ob­served by 10 per cent Y-o-Y growth in web book­ings on Air In­dia’s web­site and on Air In­dia Ex­press (IX), our LCC sub­sidiary, all book­ings are net based. IX had a 45 per cent growth in op­er­a­tions in GCC re­gion. We are re­spond­ing to the strong de­mand on travel needs for em­ploy­ment, cor­po­rates, tour op­er­a­tors or gov­ern­ments and will be in­tro­duc­ing at­trac­tive pack­ages with spe­cial fo­cus on the Gulf, the Mid­dle East and Asian re­gion and con­nec­tiv­ity to In­dia in 2017.

ATM is cer­tainly one of the key shows for in­bound op­er­a­tors and cer­tainly for Ara­bian Ad­ven­tures to at­tend. It pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to not only meet with tour op­er­a­tor part­ners but also to show­case the des­ti­na­tion, our prod­ucts and ser­vices. At Ara­bian Ad­ven­tures we op­er­ate in 60 mar­kets world­wide and it is there­fore vi­tal that we re­search and sur­vey to find out what our clients need – be it for FIT or MIE. We have a prod­uct de­vel­op­ment team that works on re­fin­ing our prod­uct port­fo­lio and as­sess­ing the po­ten­tial of new ex­pe­ri­ences. The in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ment of the UAE has been the sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor to­ward of­fer­ing world class ex­pe­ri­ences to in­ter­na­tional tourists. At Ara­bian Ad­ven­tures, we work across mul­ti­ple mar­kets and con­tin­u­ally col­lab­o­rate with part­ners, con­sor­tia and as­so­ci­a­tions across all the mar­kets we op­er­ate in. We have a proud his­tory of pi­o­neer­ing new prod­ucts and in­vest­ing in unique ex­pe­ri­ences be it around culi­nary en­deav­ours the desert, con­ser­va­tion and lo­cal her­itage.

ATM is a very im­por­tant plat­form for travel, tourism and hospi­tal­ity. Over the years it has cre­ated the ideal plat­form for trade part­ners to ne­go­ti­ate key busi­ness deals over a pe­riod of four days. To­day, we wit­ness a very ed­u­cated and knowl­edge­able trav­eller who would seek the as­sis­tance of a travel agent af­ter care­ful re­search on his own about the type of des­ti­na­tion to travel, rea­sons to travel, how, where and what needs to be done. Both tra­di­tional and on­line travel agen­cies are used as a medium of con­sul­ta­tion which places the agents and their part­ners on a higher level. As we see an up­ward trend in the us­age of smart phones as DMCs we should be pre­pared to cater to the new age of trav­eller whether it is busi­ness or leisure. The on­line world will have to work bet­ter on the so­cial me­dia arena, not only through tar­geted mar­ket­ing, but through shar­ing ex­pe­ri­ences bet­ter. On­line giants can­not con­tinue be­ing book­ers. They have to move into be­ing travel con­sul­tants. Ho­tels are try­ing to re­duce the de­pen­dency on these giants and this where they can mark their dif­fer­ence.

Mo­hammed Khoori Gen­eral Man­ager, Golden Sands Ho­tel Apart­ments

Robin Parry Vice Pres­i­dent Emi­rates Hol­i­days

Re­gional Man­ager Air In­dia Mel­win D’Silva

Samir Me­hta Gen­eral Man­ager, Ara­bian Ad­ven­tures

Gen­eral Man­ager, Al­pha Des­ti­na­tion Man­age­ment Samir Ha­madeh

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.