Since introducing a new tourist visa on September 28, the focus when it comes to Saudi Arabia has been on what it means for travellers and residents alike. Hospitality and F&B leaders are sparing no efforts in exploring the opportunities that the Kingdom now has to offer, and we find out from them what they look forward to the most.
Data released by Expedia Group has revealed that Saudi Arabia will see continued growth in the hotel sector across the Kingdom, fuelled by increasing demand from tourists.
The travel technology company’s research has shown that travellers from the USA, UAE and UK have topped the list for travel demand to KSA in 2018.
With travel bookings in the Kingdom considered the biggest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the power of international traveller growth to Saudi Arabia is expected to remain strong.
“Major hotel groups are driving construction trends across the country as they aim to meet the demands of an ever-increasing number of domestic tourists and international visitors,” says Paula de Keijzer, senior director of market management for Africa, the Indian Ocean, Middle East and Turkey at Expedia Group.
“When it comes to brand affinity and customer loyalty, it’s essential to engage at each level of the customer journey. Tools, data and insights available via OTA extranet sites, like Expedia PartnerCentral (EPC), offer hoteliers the opportunity to inspire and convert travellers, set expectations, create personalised experiences, and identify and address issues to better meet guest needs, improve guest experience and drive repeat bookings,” she adds.
USA saw more than 110% year-on-year growth in demand compared to the same period in 2017 with almost 45% share of total room nights, the UAE saw a whopping year-on-year growth of above 140% than last year with almost 20% share of total room nights, while the UK had more than a 10% share of room nights with a year-on-year growth of above 40%.
According to data from Arabian Travel Market’s 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. Religious tourism is expected to remain the bedrock of the sector over the next decade. Read more...