Online travel bookings, which represent 25 per cent of all bookings in the Middle East today, are forecast to grow in 2015 and 2016, with revenue from online sales expected to reach $35 billion. Offline sales are forecast to continue to grow from $54 billion in 2014 to $63 billion in 2017. The research revealed the emergence of hybrid travel agents — those whose transactions take place both online and offline — in the coming years, fuelled by a young, middle class, affluent population with a high tendency to travel. Rabih Saab, Travelport’s president and managing director for Africa, Middle East and South Asia, said: “This research on the future of the Middle East travel industry coincides with the theme of this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which is technological innovation. The Middle East travel industry is buoyant and poised for growth.” Get the full story at Khaalej Times