Saudi Arabia’s travel and tourism sector is expected to contribute $70.9 billion (SAR 263.1 billion) in total to the country’s GDP in 2019, according to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council.
According to data from Arabian Travel Market’s (ATM) research partner Colliers, international arrivals to Saudi Arabia are expected to increase 5.6% per year from 17.7 million in 2018 to 23.3 million in 2023. Saudi Tourism at ATM will demonstrate that religious tourism is expected to remain the bedrock of the sector over the next decade, with a goal of attracting 30 million pilgrims to the Kingdom by 2030, an increase of 11 million from the 19 million Hajj and Umrah pilgrims that visited the country in 2017.
According to Danielle Curtis Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market: “More relaxed access to visas, through online portals, 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. Saudi Arabia will see a vast expansion of its hotel and resort inventory during 2019. The projected growth in visitor numbers in both the domestic and international markets is expected to boost occupancy levels throughout 2019.”
The first phase of the Red Sea project, which is estimated to grow the kingdom’s GDP will consist of an airport, marinas, up to 3,000 hotel rooms and various recreational activities, is expected to complete during 2022.
Additionally, last year Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund announced the development of Amaala, a new ultra-luxury tourism mega-project which is earmarked for completion in 2028. The development will add 2,500 hotel rooms – further boosting the accommodation offering for both domestic and international visitors alike.
Saudi Tourism at ATM will have a focused seminar titled ‘Why Tourism is Saudi’s new ‘White Oil’ which will take place on the Global Stage on Monday 29thApril between 14.50 – 15:50. The session will discuss Saudi Arabia’s tourism potential as the Kingdom undergoes a period of rapid economic diversification and forges ahead with its Vision 2030 blueprint.
Domestic tourism is driving Saudi’s tourism industry with the number of local tourist trips inside Saudi Arabia exceeding 47 million in 2018. The latest research from Colliers forecasts this figure to increase by 8% per year and to reach 70.5 million by 2023.
ATM, considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector.
Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. Arabian Travel Market 2019 will take place in Dubai from Sunday, 28thApril to Wednesday, 1stMay 2019. To find out more, visit: www.arabiantravelmarket.wtm.com.
New this year is the launch of Arabian Travel Week, an umbrella brand comprising four co-located shows including ATM 2019, ILTM Arabia, CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa– a new route development forum and new consumer-led event ATM Holiday Shopper. Arabian Travel Week will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 27 April – 1 May 2019.