Cleartrip launches Arabic-language website

Updated 26 June 2017
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Cleartrip launches Arabic-language website

Cleartrip, a mobile and online travel company in the Middle East, has officially launched an Arabic-language website to support its GCC market expansion efforts and provide users in the region with localized browsing and booking capability.
The new website includes content and promotions relevant for Arabic-speaking audiences, and comes with a host of useful features designed to allow travelers to easily make and manage reservations. Users are also able to avail offers and benefits when booking on the Cleartrip website or its mobile application.
Cleartrip is experiencing increased traffic on its website from mobile devices, with traffic driven by smartphones and tablets growing 30 percent during the first week of Ramadan, and the launch of a dedicated website in Arabic is expected to further accelerate bookings.
Innovations in payments security, along with the launch of new government initiatives in Saudi Arabia and the proliferation of e-commerce startups, are driving increased consumer trust in online payments. This in turn is further expanding the market opportunity for Cleartrip. Currently, debit cards account for 24 percent of total bookings in Saudi Arabia, with bookings paid by credit cards making up the remaining 76 percent. The increase in bookings made using debit cards is seen as a sign of surging consumer confidence in online payments.
“As the Saudi Arabian traveler becomes more discerning and tech-savvy and as the travel booking landscape shifts toward a more digital focus, the demand for local language information and booking capability is on the rise,” said Stuart Crighton, founder and CEO of Cleartrip.
He added: “Cleartrip has emerged as a travel platform of choice for consumers across much of the Arabic-speaking world. We have grown by over 45 percent year-on-year and Arabic speakers represent our fastest growing segment, their numbers increasing by triple digits. Bringing a dedicated Arabic website into our product mix will strengthen our value proposition among digital-first Arab customers and ensure our service offerings match the needs of this sizeable and growing audience.
“The launch of the Arabic website is yet another important step toward achieving our goal of providing users in the GCC region with a seamless browsing and booking experience that evolves along with their needs.”


Positive impact of Vision 2030 on hospitality: Report

Ascott has reported a decrease of 10 percent in expat families within the Kingdom.
Updated 16 December 2018
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Positive impact of Vision 2030 on hospitality: Report

The Ascott Limited has drawn up a report into the changing dynamics of guest profiles in Saudi Arabia. 

As the government’s Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy proves to have a positive effect on the hospitality industry, Ascott is witnessing a notable change in its guests across the Kingdom. This has been influenced by the swift introduction of various initiatives from the removal of ban on women driving, to the introduction of cinemas, concerts with mixed-gender admission and major events such as the Formula E that was held last week in Riyadh.

“Our guest profiles are changing in line with the changing dynamics of the country. We have seen a spike in female guests of 7 percent from 2017, influenced by guests traveling for both work and leisure,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. 

Female guests have increased considerably this year, as properties across Jeddah averaged a 9 percent growth, while Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh experienced a growth rate of 5 percent. 

“It means there is an opportunity for the serviced residence industry to tap in to the growing number of female travelers and provide tailored services specifically for women,” explained Miccolis.

Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh has a women’s only leisure floor consisting of an outdoor pool, gymnasium, lounge, children’s playroom and day spa. The property is receiving positive feedback from female business travelers about the facilities.

Ascott has reported a decrease of 10 percent in expat families within the Kingdom, attributed to the introduction of expat levies on dependents. Family occupants taking two and three-bedroom apartments have moved to single occupants in a one-bedroom apartment. Miccolis said: “If the announcement made last week on Bloomberg regarding a review of the expat levies being restructured comes to fruition, it will provide a positive outcome for our industry.” 

International guests have maintained a consistent average over the last two years of 25 percent across the Kingdom, however Jeddah and Riyadh are on opposite scales. Fifty-five percent of Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh’s guests are international, which is a growth of 15 percent from 2017. While the four properties in Jeddah have 15 percent international guests, this is a decline of 10 percent from 2017.

“With these changing dynamics of our guests in the Kingdom, a key focus is customer service training, with the goal of exceeding guest expectations. 

This year posed a credible 92 percent customer satisfaction score, a testament to the staff in the region,” said Miccolis.