ATM 2018 report predicts 13.5 per cent CAGR in Saudi Arabia
Feb 06, 2018
A recent study produced by Arabian Travel Market’s (ATM) research partner, Colliers International, revealed that recent reforms and aggressive tourism investment in Saudi Arabia will result in an impressive 13.5 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Senior exhibition director, ATM, Simon Press commented: “Following recent reforms and the relaxation of visa regulations, Saudi Arabia is poised to capitalise on these factors as it nurtures a vibrant leisure and entertainment sector, supported by a new generation of hotels.”
The KSA is gearing up for hotel and resort expansion, as well as an increase in airport passengers, as Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman continues to drive economic and social reforms, including direct investment in tourism.
Colliers International’s study unveiled that religious tourism is still driving demand in the country, with 30,000 rooms having opened during 2017 and a further 40,020 guestrooms spanning 89 projects currently under construction.
In 2017, Saudi Arabia announced plans to capitalise on leisure tourism, as it pursues targets of 30 million visitors annually by 2030. This year will see the first tourism visas granted to international travellers and, marking a significant first, women aged 25 and older will now be able to obtain a single entry, 30-day tourist visa without a male chaperone.
Adding to this, a number of leisure projects are in the pipeline, including a Six Flags theme park (2021) and a Red Sea resort built on 100 miles of sandy coastline, which is backed by founder, Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson. The project will comprise hotels, residences and a transport hub, and will create 35,000 jobs, contributing $4 billion to the economy.
The country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) set aside $2.6 billion for entertainment ventures in 2017 and, under the National Transformation Programme (NTP), the KSA has invested $45.7 billion in tourism development.
According the Colliers International’s report, five-year air passenger numbers will increase by eight per cent at King Khalid International Airport Riyadh and six per cent at King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah.
Press commented: “These higher visitor arrivals will support jobs, investment opportunities and economic diversification, in line with the Kingdom’s plans for its future. In terms of regional tourism, these are game changing developments, completely unprecedented, and something few expected.”
This year’s ATM will feature a number of exhibitors from Saudi Arabia, including the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Saudia, Makarem Hotels, Saja Al Madinah, Mansard Hotel, Aljomaih Auto Rentals, ITRIP, Zeeyarah.com, Choice Hotels International and Al Tayyar Travel Group.
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