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Saudi ISP urges travel industry to go online

Alamiah.net chief, Badr Al Badr, warns the travel industry that those that ignore the Net may live to regret it

Dr Badr Al Badr, chief of Saudi Arabian ISP, Alamiah.net, has urged the region's travel industry to get itself online.

Speaking at the 8th Conference for Travel and Tourism Agencies in Jeddah, Dr Badr said that industry members could lose customers to rivals that made it easy and convenient to arrange travel online.

"On the Web, competitive and more feasible offers are just a click away," said Al Badr. "Electronic travel services are becoming a growing global trend which will inevitably reach us. It is imperative that agencies here are prepared when this moment comes. Now is the time to either shape up or ship out."

Al Badr pointed out that almost 25% of traditionally run travel agencies in the US closed down last year due to low commission revenues and pressure from online rivals. Revenue for online travel services was estimated to have exceeded US$3.7 billion, 3.7% of the industry's turnover, last year.

Alamiah.net has introduced the FocalPointNet software, which links agencies to services of Galileo, a global airline network. Alamiah.net also helped with development of Saudi Arabian Airlines' (Saudia's) online strategy.

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