Saudi Arabia receives 21.3 million visitors by 2024, according to the Arab Travel Market Report </p><div><p> The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will witness an increase in the flow of visitors to it from 15.5 million in 2019 to 21.3 million visitors by 2024, or by 38%. This came in the latest report issued by Colliers International, the official research partner of the Arabian Travel Market Expo 2020, which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Center from 19 to 22 April 2020.
This growth is driven by the increased demand by residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council states who wish to spend holidays and visit the Kingdom for a short period, as well as the desire of businessmen who visit the Kingdom for business purpose to extend their stay there and explore growing tourism offers or attend a sporting event or Cultural events or festivals.
Commenting on this, Daniel Curtis, director of the Arab Travel Market exhibition in the Middle East said: “As Saudi Arabia continues to work according to its plans to reduce dependence on oil, the number of visitors and tourists coming to the Kingdom has become a strong tributary of the economic diversification process that The country is witnessing, and we have also noticed this growth directly through the increase in the total number of Saudi companies exhibiting at the Arab Travel Market exhibition by 45% on an annual basis between 2018 and 2019.
“With its larger goal of receiving 100 million tourists from abroad by 2030, the kingdom strives to become more than a religious destination that attracts Muslims from around the world or a business destination as one of the richest countries in the world, but rather it becomes a destination International tourism with its rich ingredients, such as stunning landscapes and various offers.
In line with this growth in the Kingdom’s tourism sector, some regional and international hotel brands have renewed their interest in expanding further into the Saudi market.
In this context, and according to figures issued by STR Research Company, it is expected that 79,864 hotel rooms will be added to the Kingdom’s current hotel inventory by 2025, the majority in Makkah Al-Mukarramah with 34,270 hotel rooms, followed by Jeddah and Riyadh with 14,525 and 11,632 new rooms, respectively.
In light of this, the capital Riyadh witnessed strong growth in 2019, which was reflected in the increase in revenues according to available rooms by 5.2%, and the increase in the hotel occupancy rate by 9.2%, with the average daily price of rooms falling by -3.6%. In the fourth quarter, the revenue, according to the available hotel rooms, reached 529.33 SAR, the highest since 2014.
Curtis added, “While the increase in supply may impose more competition on the performance of hotels across Saudi Arabia, the expected growth in visitor numbers over the next four years is expected to increase occupancy levels during 2020 and the years that follow.”
After the issuance of the new tourist visa law, which allows visitors from 49 countries to apply for an electronic visa or visa on arrival, the Kingdom has developed a two-stage tourism strategy in line with Vision 2030.
The first phase, between 2019 and 2022, will focus on attracting visitors who come to Saudi Arabia for the first time to discover its pristine beaches, deserts, mountains and heritage sites such as Diriyah, as well as a busy schedule of activities, sporting events, and cultural and recreational events. While the second phase, which begins in 2022, will target the full development of giant projects such as the NEOM project and the Red Sea project.
On the foreign tourism front, the foreign tourism market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is expected to reach more than 43 billion US dollars by 2025, according to the latest data released by the research company, Renob. While family holidays currently dominate this market, we are expected to witness fundamental changes in this regard in conjunction with the increasing population, especially from the Z-generation category, as this generation is greatly affected by the pattern and image of the destination, whether it is an appropriate destination for experimenting with food, adventure, or experiences. Cultural and unique experiences.
Focusing on the Arabian Travel Market Expo 2020, the Saudi exhibitors are looking to highlight the great developments the Kingdom is witnessing in the tourism sector through major companies participating in the exhibition, including the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage, Saudi Airlines and flynas, among others. The exhibition will also witness in its new session this year the first appearance of the giant NEOM project. The Saudi Pavilion will also occupy an area of 2,300 square meters, an increase of 20% compared to last year’s version.
Curtis concluded by saying, “As travel and tourism companies and destinations in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries aspire to attract a greater share of the Saudi market, the Arab Travel Market 2020 will turn to this aspect through the” Saudi Tourism Summit “which is part of a series of forums and discussion sessions at the exhibition. This summit will address tourist destination plans to attract visitors from this main market, while providing informal sessions for buyers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and exhibitors.
The Arab travel market is considered one of the most prominent events in the tourism and travel sector in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the opinion of the most prominent specialists in this sector, and the 2019 session received about 40,000 professionals in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors from 150 countries. The exhibition also witnessed the participation of more than 100 new exhibitors, and recorded the largest participation in its history from the continent of Asia.
The major events and events that support the growth of the tourism sector will be the main focus of the Arab Travel Market Expo 2020, which will continue its success in this year’s edition through a series of seminars and discussion sessions that will discuss the impact of events and events on the growth of tourism in the region, and how to inspire the travel and hospitality industry around The importance of the next generation of events.