Saudi tourism to add an additional $70 to the GDP

Published on : Friday, April 12, 2019

As per the data from ATM’s research partner Colliers, overseas arrivals to Saudi Arabia are hoped to grow 5.6 percent annually from 17.7 million in 2018 to 23.3 million in 2023. Religious tourism is anticipated to remain the main basis of the sector in the next decade, with an estimated target of luring 30 million pilgrims to the kingdom by 2030, a growth of 11 million from the 19 million Hajj and Umrah pilgrims that explored the country in 2017.


To quote Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market, “At ATM, we are witnessing this growth first hand with the total number of delegates arriving from Saudi Arabia increasing 42 per cent between 2017 and 2018, while 33 per cent of delegates, exhibitors and attendees were interested in doing business with the kingdom.”


“More relaxed access to visas through online portals such as ‘Sharek’ and the growth of the Umrah plus market – combining religious and leisure travel – are expected to be key drivers in the growth of international tourism in the kingdom.”


Vision 2030 has sideways $64 billion to put in projects related to culture, leisure and entertainment over the next decade, which will importantly add to the appeal of the country as a key touristic destination, as per a recent report from real estate firm Savills.


The first phase of the Red Sea project, which is calculated to increase the GDP of the Kingdom by $5.86 billion and will comprise of an airport, marinas, up to 3,000 hotel rooms and different recreational activities, is anticipated to get finished by 2022.


Besides, in 2018, Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia has announced the development of Amaala, a new ultra-luxury tourism megaproject which is assigned for completion in 2028. With this development, there will be extra 2,500 hotel rooms – further boosting the accommodation offering for domestic as well as international visitors alike.


“Saudi Arabia will see a vast expansion of its hotel and resort inventory during 2019, with over 9,000 keys of three-, four- and five-star international supply expected to enter the market despite major cities such as Riyadh and Jeddah experiencing an overall drop in ADR during 2018.”

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