DUBAI, May 6th 2013 – With travellers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia now comprising the largest user base of all six Gulf states for travel metasearch leader Wego, the role of online travel in the vanguard of B2C e-commerce looks set. The scale of demand from within the KSA and the purchasing power of Saudis add huge momentum to the travel industry’s shift from offline channels to online within the Middle East.
Saudi Arabians and foreign residents living in the Kingdom are embracing the travel comparison site faster than even the rapid adoption of other communities in the region, with the volume currently tripling every two months.
Demand for a wider choice and control over travel plans has clearly favoured the metasearch model that compares the market, enabling users to make informed choices and book direct. The response of travel agents, airlines and hotels keen to serve the KSA community by making more inventory available through Wego has also helped satisfy the increased searches online.
“Travellers from the KSA are now considering options at over 2,000 destinations for trips this summer representing a huge opportunity for the industry. Almost seven in ten transactions online are for air ticket purchases averaging over US$1,600, the highest in the region,”
explained Mohamad Ibrahim Masri, Managing Director for Wego in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Accommodation is also averaging almost US$900 per booking.”
Wego compares over 600 full service and low cost carriers and more than 800,000 accommodation options, including holiday rentals, to produce its comprehensive search results.
“Schedules and fares are being compared across the Kingdom’s domestic aviation network, from Abha and Yanbu to Jazan. It is not just the hubs that are seeing the traffic,”
Masri added. Business travel associated with the oil industry has also scaled dramatically for Wego, with searches for Dharan quadrupling this season.
Trending destinations overseas are feeding into the growth. Jakarta, gateway to the Indonesian archipelago now accounts for a substantial eight percent of KSA based search volumes to August, more than doubling in three years. Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur are also gaining popularity. Cairo has bounced to match London, with Bodrum coming up alongside regionally Hammamet and Rabat though the searches stretch “right into the longtail.”
Masri credits word-of-mouth recommendation for the universal growth, with Arabic speaking and expatriate users sharing their discovery having previously searched and compared individual sites to understand their options. Another catalyst has been the company’s investment in a dedicated KSA site, sa.wego.com specifically designed to reflect local travellers’ needs. It followed the launch of wego.ae, the world’s first comprehensive metasearch site in Arabic and English in the United Arab Emirates in April last year.
“Talking to Wego users, there is some pride felt in making faster and smarter decisions with this latest technology. We are delighted that travellers in the KSA, opinion leaders in their own right, share the vision for the future of travel and we are grateful to them for adopting Wego,”
Wego is exhibiting at the Arabian Travel Market 2013 to meet with more regional suppliers. Wego’s ATM stand (number TT6466) can be found at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. For more information about Wego see www.wego.com/about.
For more information, please contact:
Mohamad Ibrahim Masri Managing Director – Wego Middle East
Tel: +971 4 298 1775 and Mobile: +971 506760033
Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +65 6692 0868
Wego.com is the Asia Pacific and Middle East’s leading travel metasearch engine, operating in over 50 markets worldwide and used by millions of travellers to save time, pay less and travel more. The company provides powerful yet simple to use tools that help travellers research trips, compare prices and book travel online. Wego shows users an unbiased and channel neutral view of travel prices, providing users with a choice of booking direct with a hotel or airline, or via an OTA or aggregator site. Wego was founded in 2005 and shareholders include Tiger Global Management, Crescent Point Group and Victoria Capital. For more information, please visit https://www.wego.com/about.