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H1 & Summer 2018 Travel Insights Report – Middle East

Hot off the press, the H1 & Summer 2018 Travel Insights Report is here and bigger than ever. After our recent merger with Flyin, we have teamed up to provide the most comprehensive Travel Industry report in the Middle East.

In this report, we highlight key factors such as the Gulf’s favourite summer destinations, booking patterns, the continuing mobile shift, as well as preferred payment methods.

Download the full report here

Here are some of the top takeaways:

  • Year on year we’ve seen 168% growth in mobile transactions
  • Debit card transactions leapt by 536% in Saudi Arabia during the January-June period
  • Kuwait was the fastest growing market with an increase of 13%
  • The region’s most trending destinations during the first half of the year was Los Angeles, Kabul, and Geneva, followed by Tbilisi and New York.

The year of mobile? Definitely, if you only count traffic.

We saw that mobile share of traffic was the highest in Kuwait City at 78%, followed by Riyadh at 56% and Dubai at 53%. While traffic has consistently been higher on mobile, that still isn’t being reflected in booking figures. For Saudi Arabia, mobile transactions were 29% and 27% in the UAE.

Forget Credit Cards, It’s the Year of KSA Debit Cards!

KSA debit card bookings increased by a massive 536% year on year on the back of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) initiative to enable Mada debit card transactions. Debit card transactions in KSA almost overnight grew to 29% of all bookings. Enabling Mada debit card transactions is sure to provide huge benefits to the Saudi economy and will have a massive impact on e-Commerce.

Who needs a plan? We love booking last minute

Last minute bookings continue to be hugely popular among travellers in the GCC, with more than two in five customers purchasing their air travel tickets less than a week prior to departure. Even more interesting, is the difference between mobile and desktop last minute bookings. We saw that 42% of mobile users booked within 7 days, which is almost 25% higher than desktop users.

Which are the hottest destinations so far?

The region’s most trending destinations in the first half of the year were Los Angeles (up 83%), Kabul (up 83%), Geneva (79%), and Tbilisi (up 63%). In the top ten, we also had New York, Baku, Paris, Tunis and Zurich.

The top summer destinations for travel this year were Cairo, Amman, Bangkok, Manila, Tbilisi and London. We also had Istanbul, Goa and Beirut rounding off the top 10.

Download the full report

These are just a few highlights from our H1 & Summer Insights Report – 2018 Travel, to get the full report and all insights visit now.

A HUGE thanks to the team:

A massive thanks to the team and Flyin for helping to put this report together! Special mentions go to Adnan Ashraf, Sneha Abraham, Neeraj Goswami and Mohammed Al-ismail.

And look forward to our 2018 Travel Insights report publishing in March 2019!