Saudi Arabia mobile bookings for air travel up 116% in 2017

Mobile platforms were popular for last-minute travel bookings. (Shutterstock)
Updated 20 March 2018
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Saudi Arabia mobile bookings for air travel up 116% in 2017

DUBAI: Mobile bookings for air travel rose a hefty 116 percent in Saudi Arabia in 2017, although desktop remained the dominant platform in the wider region for purchasing flight tickets, travel company Cleartrip said in its 2017 Travel Insights Report.
Among the major cities in the region, Riyadh had the highest rate of mobile bookings at 32 percent of all transactions there, with Jeddah close by at 31 percent, the report said. Mobile bookings in the Kingdom also comprised almost a third of all ticket purchases last year, Cleartrip added.
The 2017 Travel Insights Report also noted that the majority of bookings in the region — and Saudi Arabia in particular — were usually made a week prior to travel, although the report noted that mobile platforms were popular for last-minute travel bookings.
“Interestingly, the findings showed that there is a clear correlation between the number of travelers per ticket and the platform used for booking,” Cleartrip said. The report consolidated proprietary information from Cleartrip as well as data from the company’s more than 400 partner airlines.
“We closely monitor the new and dominant trends in the market to inform our business and product decisions and the 2017 Travel Insights Report is a natural outcome of our intense focus on understanding and solving customers’ needs,” said Stuart Crighton, the founder and chief executive of Cleartrip.
Dubai was the top destination for travelers in the region last year, followed by Sharjah, Manila and Abu Dhabi. The Armenian capital Yerevan meanwhile was the most trending destination for 2017, with bookings posting a whopping 498 percent rise over the previous year, followed by Georgia’s Tbilisi and Nepal’s Katmandu with both destinations recording twofold increases in online bookings.
Yerevan and Tbilisi have been heavily promoted as affordable travel and tourism alternatives and are extremely popular destinations, particularly for individuals in the UAE who need to go on a visa run to renew their stay in the Emirate.


Good governance a must to achieve economic goals, Saudi forum told

Updated 10 min 41 sec ago
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Good governance a must to achieve economic goals, Saudi forum told

  • Vision 2030 puts great emphasis on encouraging small and medium enterprises as they play a major role in emerging economies, says energy minister
  • Al-Falih was speaking at the Governance in Focus forum co-hosted by Saudi Aramco and the Pearl Initiative at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center

RIYADH: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih highlighted “good governance” as a competitive necessity and a benchmark of progress for big or small companies on Wednesday.

Al-Falih was speaking at the Governance in Focus forum co-hosted by Saudi Aramco and the Pearl Initiative at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center.

The Pearl Initiative was formed in 2010 by prominent business leaders from across the Gulf region to create a non-profit vehicle for the private sector to take a lead in adopting higher standards in corporate governance, accountability and transparency.

Addressing a packed audience of business leaders, executives, officials and experts, Al-Falih said the forum was an appropriate event to help achieve good governance in the corporate sector, especially the private sector which is being encouraged in line with Vision 2030 to help diversify the economy.

He added that Vision 2030 put great emphasis on encouraging small and medium enterprises as they play a major role in emerging economies and will help contribute to the national transformation program.

The minister pointed out that integrating corporate governance into the strategy has become a competitive necessity as it presents opportunities to manage risks and add value, and that greater transparency with scrutiny and disclosure were key attributes of good corporate governance.

Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, said: “In our efforts to achieve Vision 2030 and align ourselves with its aspirations, the Kingdom’s corporations and entities, regardless of size, now have the opportunity to apply or redefine its set of governance at the highest standards, which is vital for the economic transformation currently under way in the Kingdom.”

Badr Jafar, founder of the Pearl Initiative, said the forum was an initiative with Aramco to shine a light on the various important roles that the government, business and philanthropic sectors need to play in creating corporate governance frameworks that support competitiveness, inclusiveness and sustainability in the region.