Religious tourism in Saudi Arabia expected to increase 30%

Published on : Monday, January 9, 2017

religious-tourism-in-saudi-arabiaIn Saudi Arabia, Elaf Group, a SEDCO holding company, and a leading provider of travel, tourism and hospitality services has recently seen growth in the country’s tourism sector during the Umrah season.


This was evident from the occupancy rates in hotel rooms across the country, showing significant growth in hospitality sector. The positive numbers balance the Saudi government’s initiatives of Vision 2030, which aims to raise the number of Haj and Umrah pilgrims to 30 million annually. Recent tourism reports have shown a 5% rise in Umrah pilgrims, which is predicted to grow by 30% in the next three years.

There is a noticeable increase in number of visitors who visited Saudi Arabia during this period and a marked increase in people visiting important holy and religious sites. These visitors came from all over the world and comprised various nationalities, who came to soak in the rich culture and tradition that the Kingdom has to offer.

To quote Ziyad Bin Mahfouz, CEO, Elaf Group, “We are happy to see the marked growth in tourism in Saudi Arabia during 2016. This spike in visitors showcases the country’s tremendous position as the world’s premiere religious tourism site and we continue to support this by providing the highest quality of services and providing innovative packages that will address the current market needs.”


The Saudi government has always recognized tourism as a key pillar for diversifying the country’s economy, moving away from its dependence from oil and gas sector. Religious pilgrims currently contribute 2 to 3% of Saudi Arabia’s GDP. For further boosting the tourism sector, infrastructure projects for doubling the capacity and accommodating the number of Haj and Umrah visitors are currently, in the pipeline.

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