More consumers in the Middle East are using the internet for hotel bookings according to a report by PhoCus Wright’s Middle Eastern online travel overview.
In 2012, hotel bookings from the GCC totalled US $1.6 billion, 10% of which were made online. However, the report concludes that numerous online booking portals tend to post different rates for the same hotels, causing guests to spend more time comparing prices.
Amer Al Halabi, regional manager of MENA for HotelsCombined, an online search engine for hotel bookings says: “With so many websites available for online hotel booking, it’s hard for the consumer to know offhand where the best rate available is posted. A hotel room will always have different rates on different booking sites.”
Meanwhile, hotels across the UAE are also noticing the trend of hotel bookings now moving online. Abu Dhabi-based Nehal Hotel reported that almost half of their rooms are now booked online.
General manager Samer Al Kabalan said: “The online travel industry in the Middle East is growing at a rapid pace. So far this year we have seen 45% of our bookings come from online sites.