Domestic tourism in Saudi Arabia forecast to increase by 40% during 2015-2020

Saudi Arabia is taking initiatives to ensure equal opportunities for women

• April will be a busy month for business travel in Saudi Arabia
• Euromonitor International identifies Makkah as the main attraction of the Kingdom
• The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia is expected to attract thousands of visitors

Government led investment is driving a surge in domestic tourism across Saudi Arabia – with experts predicting a 40 percent rise in the number of internal trips made between 2015 and 2020.

The Euromonitor International Tourism Forecast report, prepared exclusively for The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2017, has revealed record levels of domestic travel within the Kingdom.

Following the announcement of Saudi Vision 2030 – the country’s attempt to become the world’s leading Arab nation – vast initiatives have been launched aiming at encouraging Saudis to explore all the Kingdom has to offer.

Surge in domestic vacations

That has led to an almost instant spike in the number of people traveling internally – and one forecasters now predict will see 40 percent more domestic vacations taken in 2020 than were made just five years earlier.

Nikola Kosutic, Research Manager at Euromonitor International, said: “The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) is investing generously in boosting domestic tourism, launching a number of new initiatives.

“Live Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with Saudi Airlines and Aramco, for example, encourages residents to visit historic locations, whilst Leave No Trace aims to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the natural beauty of the country,” stated Kosutic.

Notably, the Saudi government is emphasizing boosting the kingdom’s tourism prospects and these initiatives are part of this overall cycle. Moreover, at this time of dwindling oil prices, tourism offers a good scope of ensuring revenues in the state exchequer.

Out-of-the-box initiatives

Other schemes aimed at boosting domestic tourism include The Colours of Saudi Arabia Forum, which organizes various events and competitions related to photography. A Tourism Call Centre is also now in place, providing intensive information about attractions and events across the Kingdom.

“This is not to mention the famous Janadriyaha and Jeddah Ghair festivals, which are held annually and are attracting a growing number of visitors every year,” added Kosutic.

Euromonitor International identifies Makkah as the “main attraction” of the Kingdom due to religious tourism, alongside Madinah, with Al Riyadh Province and the Eastern Province popular with business travelers.

In the past few months, government has invested heavily on developing infrastructure in a bid to ensure world-class facilities to tourists, both domestic and international. Good results are also apparent as industry experts predict a good footfall of tourists even at some little-known places in the kingdom.

Rise in business travelers

April is set to be a busy month for business travel as the many members of the Kingdom’s growing hospitality industry descend on Jeddah for the fifth edition of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia.

Organized by MICE Arabia and co-organized by dmg events, the annual exhibition sees thousands of visitors congregate to discuss and do business on the many different hotel and hospitality sectors across its three days, this year from April 4 to 6.

Exhibitors in 2017 include LG Electronics, Onity, Chbib, CMT Technologies (in the technology sector), Sandalyeci, Closet World, Banta Furniture, Adasan, Zubair Furnishing, Raha Oman (in the interiors, design and lighting sector), and many more.

The event is co-located for the first time this year with Stone & Surface Saudi Arabia. dmg events is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT) an international portfolio of information, media and events businesses listed on the London stock exchange.
The DMGT manages a diverse, multinational portfolio of companies, with total revenues of almost £2bn, that provide businesses and consumers with compelling information, analysis, insight, events, news and entertainment.