As global travel distributor GTA attends Arabian Travel Market in Dubai this week (5-8 May 2014), it predicts continued growth for the region, which is already among the company’s most successful.
The news comes as data for 2013 shows that overall the number of room nights booked by Middle Eastern travel agents with GTA was up 30% year-on-year.
Outbound travel picture from the Middle East
In particular, sales in Iraq exceeded all expectations with more than a 100-fold increase thanks to the appointment of two preferred sales agents in the country last year. The Turkish travel trade booked more than double the number of room nights, while Yemen, the UAE, Jordan, Lebanon and Bahrain all enjoyed double digit growth in 2013.
Rami Mashini, GTA’s Vice President of Sales for the Middle East & Africa, says: “GTA has been powering global travel for nearly four decades. Our global presence in mature and emerging source markets and the expert relationships our sales teams forge with the travel trade give us the power to help businesses accommodate fully independent travellers on practically every part of the planet."
Domestic and inbound travel to the Middle East
Room nights booked by fully independent travellers (FIT) from around the world to the Middle East also grew by 5% last year. The United Arab Emirates remains the most popular of its destinations, according to GTA, and has enjoyed a 10% year on year increase in the number of room nights booked. The top five destinations in the Middle East remain the same as 2012 with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar following the UAE.
More than two-thirds of the top ten Middle Eastern destinations enjoyed year on year growth with Yemen and Bahrain in the triple and double digits respectively. Although just outside the top ten, Iraq saw the number of room nights’ increase by 10%, perhaps as more travellers are looking to discover what the destination has to offer.
James Phillips, GTA’s Vice President of Sourcing for Europe, the Middle East & Africa, says: “As more and more people want to travel to and around the Middle East, travel agents rely on GTA’s sourcing teams to find the accommodation, services, excursions and experiences they most want to enjoy.
“Thanks to the strength of our supplier relationships in this region, high street and online travel agents and tour operators worldwide can book an even greater choice of accommodation for their clients in rising and already popular destinations.”
Powering global travel, GTA’s network generates tens of thousands of bookings for hotels, attractions and other tourism businesses every day. Selling 12 million room nights every year, high street and online travel agents and tour operators rely on the company to source competitive rates for the accommodation, services, excursions and experiences that their customers – the travelling public – most want to enjoy.
GTA has been helping the world’s hospitality and tourism industry reach customers in all parts of the world for nearly four decades. Its reputation for providing relevant and unrivalled global distribution, its financial stability and expertise helps businesses capture opportunities presented by growth markets, while gaining share in established ones.