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Middle East travel exceeding all expectations

September 21, 2013 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Tourism in the Middle East is undergoing a unique evolution, breaking records and taking tourism to new heights of luxury, infrastructure and aviation achievements.

iStock_000012243325SmallWego, the leading travel metasearch site in the Asia Pacific and Middle East, anticipating this ground-breaking acceleration, opened a dedicated office appointing a director in Dubai, earlier this year.

The company is rapidly expanding air content in the Middle East to meet the growth in demand, as search volumes on www.wego.ae continue to exceed company expectations.

“We always knew that this region was going to advance quickly however the speed in which airfare search volumes continue to develop on Wego, at much higher growth rates than expected, has surprised us,” said Dean Wicks, Chief Flights Officer for Wego.

The UNWTO’s latest report also expressed surprise at the pace of global tourism growth which also exceeded their forecasts, with the Middle East and Asia leading the way. Four MENA airlines ranked in the 2013 Skytrax World Top 10 Airlines, with Emirates and Qatar Airways taking out the top two spots respectively, (Etihad Airways seven, Turkish Airlines nine), reflecting the commitment to aviation excellence that continues to be a theme throughout the Middle East tourism industry.

“Regions throughout MENA are taking tourism very seriously and dedicating considerable resources to the industry,” said Mohammed Ibrahim Masri, Managing Director of Wego, Middle East and North Africa.

“All travel operators are investing heavily to ensure the region is placed at the forefront of world tourism. Dubai is currently the second busiest international airport in the world, and figures released by Dubai Airport in August shows that international arrivals have increased by over 6 per cent in July, and year to date traffic is up 15.3 per cent,” Masri added.

M Masri WEGO 03“MENA has provided so many firsts for Wego,” Wicks continued. “We’ve already accomplished so much in the region by providing the first flight and hotel travel metasearch site to appear in both Arabic and English, and partnering with key local travel sites.”

Most recently Wego signed a full content agreement with Egypt Air coinciding with the airline’s announcement of a four time weekly Cairo to Jakarta service, (via Kuala Lumpur) connecting with the strength of Wego’s Asian network presence.

“The region continues to grow for Wego with many major airline accounts currently under negotiation. Presently we’re in the process of integrating a number of major regional carriers  that we are expecting to go live on site within the next couple of weeks,” said Wicks.

Wicks believes the youthful nature of new, extremely tech savvy MENA airlines such as Nas Air, Rak Airways and Qatar, with some of the youngest fleets and cutting edge aviation equipment in the world, is also contributing to the accelerated growth.

“This is a region that acknowledges the future of travel and e-commerce and is determined to select the best partnerships to optimise their opportunities and reach, which is why they select Wego,” he said.

Masri continued: “The UAE has just signed a deal to expand air services with China; Emirates and Qantas have also extended the network between the Asia Pacific and Middle East, and Wego has prime position with our strong presence which covers all these markets.”

“We are wholly committed to our investment in MENA. We shall continue to proactively build the Wego brand as we ramp up all of our marketing channels, continue to integrate new partners and build our teams in this, and all our markets, as both travellers and the travel industry recognise the value, reach and simplicity of what Wego provides,” Masri concluded.

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