Online travel sales to residents recorded current value growth of 16% in 2017, to reach AED18.0 billion. Airlines direct online sales to residents remained the key category for online sales in the country, with a 62% share of total online sales to residents, followed by online travel agencies sales to residents, constituting 21% of total online sales. As car rental firms increasingly developed their online presence and demand for car rental increased in the market, car rental direct online sales to residents was the fastest growing transport or lodging category, reporting growth of 16%, albeit from a small base. Airlines direct sales also continued to post strong growth, rising by 16% in 2017. Direct online air sales grew as airlines developed online platforms and introduced loyalty programmes; both scheduled and low-cost carriers.
Online travel sales to residents is expected to increase by a value CAGR of 14% at constant 2017 prices over the forecast period, to reach AED34.9 billion in 2022. The slower CAGR over the forecast period indicates that the category is expected to mature over the forecast period. However, this growth will lead to higher growth in absolute terms by 2022 compared with the historic sales growth.
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