Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Tourism

UAE Boosts Tourism Returns to $5 Billion in First Half of 2022

5 months ago

The tourism revenue of the United Arab Emirates surpassed $5 billion in the first half of this year, compared to $3 billion in the same period last year. The number of hotel guests that the country received rose to 12 million — registering a 42 percent year-on-year growth. 

The country expects a stronger performance this winter as scores of football fans would be flocking the region to catch the Federation Internationale de Football Association World Cup being hosted in neighbouring Qatar.

Since Qatar, with its limited accommodation facilities, would be hosting the most geographically-compact world cup in the history of the tournament, the economic impact of the event would also extend to other countries in the Gulf Coooperation Council.

Gulf carriers would also be operating shuttle flights to ferry football fans from neighbouring countries to Doha, the venue for the World Cup between November 21 and December 18.

Dubai airport also reported that it had handled 27.8 million passengers in the first half of this year, up more than 160 percent from the same period last year.

Based on the results of the first half of the year, the airport has readjusted its annual forecast for this year from 58.3 million passengers to 62.4 million.

Over 7 million international visitors visited Dubai during the first half of 2022, registering a 183 percent year-on-year increase, according to Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism. In 2021, Dubai received a total of 7.28 million international visitors.

The average hotel occupancy rate in Dubai in the first half of 2022 was 74 percent, 12 percent higher than the rate in the same period last year, which stood at 62 percent.

During the first half of 2022, the average daily rate of hotels in Dubai was $154 while the occupied room nights reached 18.47 million and revenue per available room rose to $147. With this, Dubai has emerged third in the world in terms of revenue per available room, after Paris and New York. 

Travel Technology

Travel Tech Firm RateGain’s Business Buoyed by Return of Tourists

5 months ago

As more hotels strive to optimize costs, improve return on investment and reduce cost of customer acquisition by generating direct revenue through metasearch platforms, travel technology firm RateGain continues to see considerable demand for its metasearch and digital marketing offerings, Bhanu Chopra, RateGain’s founder and chairman, said.

“We continue to see little or no impact on the overall travel industry as well as our business due to the ongoing increase in inflation, talk about rising interest rates or the ongoing Ukraine conflict,” Chopra said.

Marketing technology has emerged as the biggest vertical for RateGain, with a recurring revenue of 99 percent contributing 41 percent of the company’s overall revenue for the quarter ending June 30, 2022.

Continuing on its path of fiscal prudence, Chopra said RateGain, which made its debut in the stock market in India last year, continues to be one of the very few profitable software-as-a-service companies globally.

“We stay committed to improving profitability through cost optimization and revisiting our commercial agreements to increase revenue per customer,” Chopra said during the earnings call.

The company registered a 59 percent year-on-year revenue growth with revenue from operations reaching $15 million compared to $9 million in the corresponding quarter last year.

“We see robust growth and our annual recurring revenue is now 20 percent higher than pre-Covid levels and is 10 percent higher level compared to the last quarter,” Chopra said.

Given the labor shortages in the travel industry, there has been an acceleration towards digitization and RateGain is well positioned to capture this opportunity, according to Chopra.

“Using artificial intelligence and machine learning we are innovating and launching new products to help our customers acquire guests, retain them and expand on their wallet share,” he said.

Citing Skift Travel Health Index, Chopra said there has been continued improvement in travel demand across the world with more countries now reporting numbers at pre-Covid levels or higher.

Given the return of travel, the company’s transactional volume is up by close to 40 percent. The bundling of data-as-a-service products with marketing technology businesses has resonated very well for the company.

The data-as-a-service business unit grew on the pack of strong volumes of its online travel agency and airline products driven by existing Tier 1 accounts and new accounts, Chopra said. “Also, we entered adjacent sub-verticals within travel such as destination management companies and vacation rental companies and signed up for a set of customers.”

RateGain has also said that it would be investing in launching new products and test piloting them this quarter.

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