Tuesday 26 October 2021

'60pc of online travel searches originate from mobile devices'

DUBAI, October 31, 2017

Travel websites in the Middle East and Africa (Mena) region are investing heavily into becoming mobile friendly with recent studies showing that 60 per cent of searches for destination information come from mobile devices.

A regional study conducted by Red Blue Blur Ideas (RBBi)- a specialised integrated digital agency- analysed the passengers experience offered by different airline carriers and found out that online customer experience has been dramatically enhanced over the last five years through the development of new services and features.

These updates have a significant effect on airlines, with features such as Google Flights, Knowledge Graph, and Google City Guides, making it easy for travellers to quickly access all the travel information they need.

“Understanding the decision-making path of travellers is essential for the Middle East aviation industry to target their efforts and position themselves ahead of the competition,” said Naguib Toihiri, SEO Department lead at RBBi.”With more than 70 per cent of the GCC population listed as mobile subscribers, it is imperative that travel websites are made mobile friendly and adopt best regional and global practices.”

Findings show that more than 55 per cent of travellers use a search engine as their first step when making travel arrangements.

The comprehensive content analysis discovered:
• Around 60 per cent of leisure travellers use search engines to initiate their search for travel information and 55 cer cent of business travellers following the same journey as their first port of call for travel information, it is becoming more and more important for Middle East airlines to improve their online brand visibility.

• Google dominates search engine platforms with 94 per cent of the market share in Saudi Arabia and UAE being in Arabic, suggesting airlines should focus on Arabic content. A comprehensive content analysis showed that only a few airline brands have optimised their URLs using Arabic characters. This represents a significant missed opportunity for Arabic keyword searches online, especially from those searching from the GCC region.

• Google’s findings indicate that leisure passengers make 32.5 visits to 10.3 websites in 4.2 categories prior to booking. Travel brands that are not present at this crucial stage of the user journey risk losing out on bookings.

With online brand visibility taking precedence across marketing, RBBi provides four recommendations for increasing online brand visibility:

1. Focusing on delivering local Arabic content
2. A need for mobile-first approach
3. Improving local search optimisation
4. Utilising rich content. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Mobile | investment | travel | websites | study | friendly |

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