The ‘Web In Travel’ (WIT) online travel conference will soon have a new destination call. The Asia Pacific regional event will conduct their first Middle East edition in Dubai from 26-27 march 2014. The company has taken on BizGate Marketing to handle the event in the UAE.
Based on increased demand, the first edition will highlight opportunities from the region as well as share insights from local and global players. Yeoh Siew Hoon, editor and founder of WIT, said: “We are pleased to bring our signature conference to the Middle East. It’s the next new frontier in online travel and it is a huge travel market for Asia, both as a source of travellers and as an inbound destination.”
As per recent statistics from a PayPal report conducted along with Ipsos on MENA (Middle East & North Africa), there are 110 million Internet users in the region, with 30 mn already shopping online. The study projects that online spending in MENA will grow from US$9 billion in 2012 to US$15 bn by 2015. Travel is the biggest item bought online, with an average US$1,521 spent each year.
Further statistics show that the UAE is the largest e-commerce market in the Middle East, with consumers spending US$2.9 bn online last year. And it is also the most mature market for travel and tourism, accounting for 47% of total market and 60% of online market in the Middle East according to the “Assessing The Online Travel Opportunity: The Middle East report” by PhoCusWright and co-sponsored by Amadeus.
Elaborating further Hoon said: “The WIT Middle East programme will blend global insights with local knowledge to create a learning platform that is tailored to needs of the Middle Eastern market. We will do what we love to do – spark learning and inspiration, bring in new ideas from start-ups and students and build an engaged community around our content.”