Group Expands Presence in the Middle East with Strategic Initiatives and New Regional Office

DUBAI, UAE, May 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Group, a global leader in online travel services, announces its strategic expansion in the Middle East, highlighted by its participation in this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai. This expansion is underpinned by a global commitment to innovative travel solutions and strategic partnerships aimed at enhancing the travel experience for families and travellers of all ages within the region.

Boon Sian Chai speaking at a panel on multigenerational travel at ATM.

At a panel on multigenerational travel in the Middle East, Boon Sian Chai, Managing Director and Vice President of International Markets at Group, discussed the company’s strategic approach to enhancing travel experiences for all age groups. He emphasised the significant trend toward family-centric travel, noting that data from Group showed that family-oriented journeys increased from last year, accounting for 47% of all travel – nearly half of all trips made during the extended Spring Festival holiday. This shift emphasises the increasing need to focus on the complex travel requirements of families, which is particularly critical during peak travel seasons.

Mr Chai also highlighted the success of Group’s “Old Friends Club”, as part of initiatives to enhance multigenerational travel. The program, first launched in China, is designed to meet the specific needs of silver generation travellers aged 50 and above, spurred by a substantial 90% increase in bookings from this demographic compared to 2019. He elaborated, “We are committed to enhancing travel experiences internationally. By integrating our international expertise with deep local insights, particularly in the Middle East, we aim to enrich the travel landscape. This approach helps us set new standards in travel experiences and strengthen our international partnerships, ensuring we meet the nuanced demands of multigenerational travellers across different cultures and regions.”

Additionally, Group is harnessing state-of-the-art technology and forging strong partnerships to customise its comprehensive travel booking platform, ensuring it aligns with the unique requirements of Middle Eastern travellers. This includes providing services in regional languages and accommodating cultural nuances. The company observed a marked increase in travel interest to key destinations in the Middle East, such as United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, with triple-digit growth in bookings in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2023. This surge underscores the region’s burgeoning appeal as a centre for diverse travel, including historical, cultural, and religious tourism. Group is set to channel substantial international tourism into the region following recent agreements, including a global partnership with the Saudi Tourism Authority and a Memorandum of Understanding with Qatar Tourism. Additionally, announced the launch of its new regional office in Dubai. This office is set to play a pivotal role in strengthening the company’s presence and enhancing service capabilities across the Middle East.

Siddharth Sudhakar and Boon Sian Chai at the Group booth at ATM.

Siddharth Sudhakar, Product & Marketing Director, General Manager for the Middle East and Africa at Group, emphasised the importance of the new office, “Establishing our office in Dubai is a critical step in our regional strategy. It enhances our ability to forge local partnerships and tailor our offerings to better meet the needs of Middle Eastern travellers, further aligning with our global mission to transform travel through technology and innovation.”

The company’s participation at ATM Dubai is part of a broader strategy to boost service capabilities and market presence through innovation, including AI-driven tools like TripGenie for personalised travel planning, and immersive technologies such as Trip.Vision for mixed-reality experiences. As Group continues to expand its global footprint, the Middle East stands out as a key area for strategic growth, with the region poised to significantly contribute to the company’s ongoing success.

About Group Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising of, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. Across its platforms, Group helps travellers around the world make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services and enables partners to connect their offerings with users through the aggregation of comprehensive travel-related content and resources, and an advanced transaction platform consisting of apps, websites and 24/7 customer service centres. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003 and HKEX in 2021, Group has become one of the best-known travel groups in the world, with the mission “to pursue the perfect trip for a better world”. Find out more about Group here:

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