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Euromonitor: Saudi travellers head online for accommodation bookings

Euromonitor: Saudi travellers head online for accommodation bookings

A new report published by Euromonitor International has revealed online travel sales to residents in Saudi Arabia showed record 40 per cent growth in 2014 to reach $1.73 billion in 2015, with the figure set to double to $3.46 billion by 2019.

Released as the Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2015, the report also confirms the United Arab Emirates continue to be the most popular destination in 2014.

The city of Dubai attracts a heavy number of Saudis every year.

Saudi Arabia leads the Middle East in terms of the number of internet users - 8.5million in 2014, and the Kingdom ranked first in 2014 for active Twitter users.

Nearly all of the leading hotel chains in the Kingdom have now effectively devised online purchase and payment options to encourage domestic and international tourism.


Saudi ranks third globally in terms of smartphone ownership, with a penetration rate of nearly 73 per cent, and mobile sales for hotels experienced a 28 per cent increase in 2014 as a result.

Hotel chains in the Kingdom such as Hilton, Ramada and Courtyard Marriott now have mobile specific websites to facilitate bookings.

Geraldine Calpin, global head of digital at Hilton Worldwide said: “In 2014 Hilton Worldwide rolled-out its pioneering Digital check-in and room selection globally, including all seven hotels in Saudi Arabia; putting our guests in the driving seat and giving them unprecedented choice and control across their entire stay.

“A first for the hospitality industry, the scale of the digital rollout marked the largest of its kind to date across the sector.

“Never before have guests been able to check-in on desktop, tablet and mobile devices, select their room from a digital floor plan and customise their room ready for arrival.

“We are truly revolutionising the industry and this is just the tip of the iceberg for digital at Hilton Worldwide.”

To coincide with this, Hilton Worldwide has launched an update to its Hilton HHonors iOS app, bookable websites in 22 different languages, and enhanced customer service via social media.

Hilton Hotels were overall the biggest gainers in the Kingdom in 2014 with market share going up to eight per cent compared to seven per cent in 2013.

Global technology brands including Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, LG Electronics, LEIN Technology and Equinox Arabia will be at Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events between May 3rd-5th this year for The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2015, demonstrating leading products and services to thousands of hospitality professionals from throughout the Kingdom.