Broadening Horizons with Travel and Tourism
By Naila Tariq
Imagine you were planning a trip. You’d probably start by looking up viable destinations online, then checking flight dates and ticket prices on comparison sites like Tajawal.
Maybe you’d contact a travel agent to ask about travel packages and the best tourist destinations for the season, or perhaps you’d prefer to create your own itinerary from start to finish with HolidayMe.
If adventure is more your style, then you might use Rahhalah to plan out an exciting journey of trekking, camping, or mountain climbing.
Even if you’ve got the flights all planned, you’d still have to find and book accommodation, probably with Booking.com to get the best possible deal.
And who wants to worry about hefty luggage to carry and keep from getting lost all the time when you could use Dubz to pick up, ship out, and deliver your bags to your destination?
Upon arrival, perhaps you’d hire a tour guide, or visit the country’s classic tourist spots – the Eiffel Tower in Paris, for example, or the Giza Pyramids in Cairo – in addition to doing your own exploring.
Every step of this process falls under one of the largest industries in the world: travel and tourism. The people and companies that help you plan your journey, the websites and agencies that sell you your tickets, the airlines that fly you to your destination, the hotels and tour guides, translators and tourist attractions… all of these and more are cogs in the multibillion dirham machine.
The United Arab Emirates is just as much a part of this transnational industry as any other. The country invests about AED 30 billion into its tourism industry, with high returns.
Dubai was ranked as the top travel destination in the Middle East, and the fourth most popular tourist destination in the world according to the 2016 Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index. Sharjah has been dubbed the ‘Cultural Capital of the Arab World,’ famous for its Islamic and Arab heritage as well as its art initiatives propelled by the Sharjah Art Foundation.
Plus, the tourism sector is projected to bring in a revenue of AED 118.1 billion by the year 2026.
A market so expansive means plenty of opportunity for entrepreneurs to innovate the industry, with huge potential for investment.
In light of this, Sheraa has partnered with Air Arabia to launch the Travel and Tourism Track, aimed at encouraging ideas that do exactly that.
For example, the tourist’s experience, much like the UX for an app or website, always has room for improvement.
An idea that can streamline the ticket booking process, or provide luggage safety services, or allow tourists to explore more than just the same old spots could revolutionize the way people think about travel or feel about visiting new countries. Think of your own travel experiences. What do you wish had been done better? Why not improve it yourself?
Even more welcome would be ideas designed to attract more visitors to the country and help push the tourism industry to new heights.
The possibilities are as limitless as the skies. So, make like a traveler, and explore them.SEE ALL STORIES