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Online Bookings Rising By Up To $3 Billion Annually

September 26, 2013 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

UAE-headquartered hospitality company, TI’ME Hotels Management, has launched a dedicated 100% Arabic online booking platform ahead of the Eid Al Adha holiday to meet increasing demand from its network of GCC-based bookers and clients for local language services.

This initiative comes at a time when the number of online travel bookings are rising by up to $3 billion annually in the region, as consumers embrace the convenience of e-commerce retail channels, supported by the accessibility of smart devices and increased confidence in the security of electronic transactions.

TI'ME launches Arabic Booking EngineAccording to research conducted by global travel market research company, PhoCus Wright, gross bookings made in the Middle East online travel sector, both through direct channels and online travel agencies, grew by 18% in 2012 to reach US$10.5 billion. Online bookings are expected to nearly double between 2011 and 2014, when the region’s online leisure/unmanaged business travel market will approach US$16 billion in value.

TI’ME’s new multilingual booking facility offers consumers a ‘localised’ language option to speed up the personal booking process and supports demographic research that puts the provision of online services in Arabic as a key driver for market share growth.

“It is vital that we remain market competitive by expanding our online capabilities to capture new online demand and while English may be the language of business across most of the Gulf states, as a Middle Eastern-born hospitality company, we felt that it was important to offer full online accessibility in Arabic – the language of the region,” said Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TI’ME Hotels Management.

The Arabic booking engine is powered by Sabre Hospitality Solutions technology and has been developed by TI’ME and its online representation company Navarino Services.

The platform is available for all six TI’ME Hotels properties, with the menu of services including options to check date availability, review availability results and room/rate options, and request added value extras such as airport transfers, late check out, food and beverage options and purchase items from TI’ME retail boutiques.

Once the booking is completed, TI’ME clients will receive a confirmation email in Arabic and can even add flight numbers and arrival times to confirmed airport transfers. These service extras are unique to the TI’ME platform and are not available via online travel agencies.

“To be able to further refine our Arabic online service and ensure that we provide a seamless booking experience, we have also included two marketing questions in Arabic that will help us determine the purpose of travel and learn how they found out about us,” said Awadalla.

The booking engine also features an embedded global Google Translate widget, exclusively provided by Navarino Services, the online services company tasked with managing the new TI’ME booking engine.

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