Saudi Arabia: Religious tourism set for 20% annual growth
Saudi Arabia’s religious tourism market is expected to grow by about 20% annually over the next decade and hotels in Makkah and Madinah are forecasting strong occupancy rates this year, according to The Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s fastest growing hotel companies, which plans to open three new properties in the holy cities by 2010.
“The Kingdom’s geographical, economic and social attributes have a lot to offer to tourists, particularly Muslim travellers who visit the country for Hajj,” said Mohamed Benamar, District Director Saudi Arabia of The Rezidor Hotel Group.
“Saudi Arabia is one of our major growth markets and religious tourism will be our main focus.”
And according to the Supreme Commission for Tourism (SCT) which was formed to build and organise Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector, the number of tourists who visit the country will double to 45.3 million by 2020 and the Kingdom will be required to provide an additional 50,000 hotel rooms and 74,000 furnished units within that timeframe.
“The domestic tourism market in the Kingdom is currently untapped and there is huge potential in this sector. According to a SCT report, Saudi nationals spend nearly US$14.5 billion on travel annually and the Kingdom also earns tourism revenues worth US $1.8 billion a year almost exclusively from religious tourism,” added Benamar.
The Rezidor Hotel Group will open its first class full service brand, Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts in Makkah by 2010 and its fresh and energetic mid-market Park Inn brand by 2009.
Al Diyafa Radisson Hotel will have 256 rooms, state-of-the-art facilities including a separate male and female spa, four restaurants, six meeting rooms and 1250 square metre ballroom for weddings and banquets.
The Al Diyafa Park Inn Makkah will be in the Al Zahir area approximately three kilometres from the Haram, with 221 rooms, a restaurant, a lobby lounge, a business centre, seven meetings rooms, two courtyards, a gym and 103 car parking spaces.
The Al Madinah Paradise Radisson SAS Resort will feature 212 luxurious guestrooms as well as 10 villas. Just seven kilometres from the Haram, the Al Madinah Paradise Resort will be surrounded by a beautifully landscaped hillside and open mountain views.
- Makkah to see Al Diyafa Radisson Hotel in 2010
- First international mid-market hotel brand to open in Makkah
- Hotel sector gets major boost as religious tourism in Saudi grows by 30 per cent in first quarter of 2009
- Radisson SAS Al Qurm, Ras Al-Khaimah to open in 2009
- Rezidor to open mid market brand in Egypt: Park Inn Sharm El Sheikh Resort to debut November