Middle East travel soars during Ramadan 2014
Wego, the leading travel search site in the Middle East and Asia Pacific recorded a surge in site visits, searches and revenue during this year’s Ramadan, the highest in its history since establishing the regional office in Dubai in early 2013.
“Traditionally Ramadan is a slow period for business in general, and online travel in particular throughout the region,” commented Mamoun Hmedan from Wego Dubai. “During the month of July, www.wego.ae experienced an enormous increase in site traffic overall which was quite unexpected.”
Travel searches during July increased by over 50 per cent on the previous month, with the majority of searches emanating from Saudi Arabia, followed by the UAE, Egypt and Kuwait. Dubai topped the list for flight searches followed by Cairo, Jeddah, Istanbul and Jakarta. The most popular destinations for hotel searches were for Dubai, Mecca, Jeddah, Medina and Abu Dhabi.
“Wego has enjoyed enormous popularity in the Middle East as travellers in the region more frequently turn to the convenience and simplicity of planning and booking their travel online,” continued Hmedan.
“Our introduction of the world’s first hotel and airline travel app in Arabic has been truly appreciated by the thousands of travellers in the region as smartphone usage continues to grow. Wego has featured in the top five travel apps on iTunes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait. Clearly travellers are responding favourably to the app especially in KSA where smartphone penetration is the highest in the world.”
“What’s been interesting is the new, high number of searches on Wego for historical Muslim locations,” said Hmedan. “Almost 2,000 new city pairs were searched during Ramadan not recorded in the previous month. The highest numbers of new flight searches were for Chita in Russia, well known as having an extensive Islamic history.”
“Oman travellers searched for flights to Goa in India, and Saudis targetted Hangzhou in China; another location with a strong Muslim heritage that dates back to the mid 1800s when it was described as the stronghold of Islam in China”.
Flights to Canada were also searched in high numbers from the Emirates and Oman, Kuwaitis selected both Florida and Canada, and Jordanian travellers selected Sweden.
“This huge growth in activity shows us that MENA travellers are extremely comfortable and secure with the convenience that using Wego provides them, and that the many new flight routes have opened up a world of adventurous travel to the entire region,” concluded Hmedan.
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