At the Arabian Travel Market in April, we met with Thierry Dongier, Head of Online Sales for the Middle East and Africa at Amadeus. He explained the differences between traditional and internet travel agencies and what sort of innovation they provide for the sector.
“The Middle East is a very interesting region - there has been constant growth in the travel sector. We conducted a study that shows that online penetration in the region is 33% of the business, but we forecast that the percentage will grow by 14% a year to reach around 44% by 2022.
"We have a team dedicated to online travel agencies, their needs and solutions are very specific unlike traditional travel agencies, their mindset and technology are different as well as the fact that they consume more data, so it requires a different approach to the market too.
"They consume web services and API, a different way to connect, then they have all the freedom to develop the solution to give a different customer experience and present the product differently, so it is more flexible than traditional travel agencies.
"We bring a lot of innovation to the market, we have started marketing “life Travel Space”, which is a new way to get more content to the consumers and a greater degree of scalability and flexibility as well.”