July 08, 2013

Middle East online hotel bookings soar


Amid a sharp surge in occupancy rates across hotels in the UAE, online bookings are also steadily gaining popularity as more consumers use the Internet to search for affordable hotel rates. With hundreds of hotel websites now available, consumers today face an overwhelming abundance of choice.

According to PhoCus Wright’s Middle Eastern Online Travel Overview, in 2012, hotel bookings from the GCC region totaled $1.6 billion, 10 per cent of which were made online hotels across the UAE are well aware of their guests’ growing preference for online bookings.

In Abu Dhabi, the newly launched Nehal Hotel reported that nearly half of their rooms were now booked online. Samer Al Kabalan, General Manager of the Nehal said the online travel industry in the Middle East is growing at a rapid pace. “So far this year we have seen 45 per cent of our bookings come from online sites.”

However, as analysts pointed out, with hundreds of hotel websites now available, consumers today face an overwhelming abundance of choice. To further complicate matters, these sites often post different rates for the same hotel, causing users to spend hours comparing prices online.

Get the full story at Khaleej Times