Hajj pilgrims' expenditure to reach $6.9B this season
Demand surges for internet or network services that help pilgrims maintain contact with their relatives during their stay abroad. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
The two economic sectors greatly affected by the annual Hajj pilgrimage season, directly proportional to the economic term of Hajj tourism, are sectors serving accommodation services and communication.
Revenue for each of those businesses is increased during Hajj season, which reciprocates systematically to their relative stock market standings.
According to economic experts, tourist expenditure this Hajj season will increase at a rate of 30 percent over last year’s figures reaching $6.9 billion. The increase is expected after ending the limit on Hajj pilgrimage visitors due to previous Makkah expansion projects, now that they are completed.
Hajj and Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) economic expert Saad al-Qurashi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the growing number of Hajj visitors this year will directly increase the income across all season related markets, especially those running the service sector.
With over three million Hajj visitors coming in, demand on accommodation is massively increased in addition to communications.
At least 40 percent of the pilgrimage expenditures are directed into either accommodation, such as hotels or fully furnished apartments, or communications, such as internet or network services that help the visitors maintain contact with their relatives during their stay abroad.
Annual revenue for the Hajj and Umrah market is expected to cross the $5.6 billion benchmark annually, in the case of over 12 million visitors arriving. The Hajj and Umrah market revenue eventually vitalizes the overall economic wheel of the kingdom.
By Fahd Baqmi
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