Hotelbeds, the global accommodation wholesaler, expects tourism to grow in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific (Meapac) and plans to raise its hotel portfolio and distribution coverage to meet 40% sales growth over the next two years.
Meapac is the largest and fastest-growing area for Hotelbeds' business.
Its report said the compound annual growth of Asia as a destination from 2008-12 was 31%, compared with 14% for Europe and the Americas.
In terms of source markets, Asia had growth of 50% while Europe and the Americas stood at 13%.
Hotelbeds plans to double its portfolio of hotel listings in Meapac to 17,500 by 2017.
It has also set an expansion plan for source markets and destinations of about 40% by 2015 with an aim to become the significant player in Meapac.
By 2015, Hotelbeds expects the global online accommodation market to have grown by about 7.3%.
It targets its online accommodation reservations worldwide to expand more than 15%, while its business in Meapac will surge by more than 40%.
Nino Jotikasthira, Hotelbeds' regional director for Thailand and Indochina, said Thailand is among the most important destinations in Meapac.
Based on the number of room nights sold by Hotelbeds last year, Thailand was the only country that had three destinations ranked among the most popular in Meapac _ Bangkok (third), Phuket (fifth) and Koh Samui (10th).
Thailand also led the number of bookings in the region last year, followed by mainland China and Hong Kong, said Pablo Aycart, Hotelbeds' managing director for Meapac.
"Thailand is a popular destination for both business and leisure. The country also has high demand for stopovers by travellers, with Bangkok being the top choice for tourists going to Australia, New Zealand and Indochina," he said.
Hotelbeds offers the choice of more than 2,000 Thai hotels.
Mr Nino is confident that the company's business in Thailand will continue to rise this year.
"It's difficult for new players to enter this business because of high investment costs, especially in technology, and it also needs a strong and professional distribution network," said Mr Nino.
For the financial year ending on Sept 30, 2012, Hotelbeds reported 1.45 billion euros (58.5 billion baht) in global sales, selling 16 million room nights, with 30 room nights sold per minute and 434 million searches per month on average.
Hotelbeds, part of TUI Travel, operates in 47 countries and has an online database of more than 50,000 hotels in 183 countries. Thailand is among its best-selling destinations along with Spain, the US, Mexico and Hong Kong.
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- Writer: Chadamas Chinmaneevong