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Saudi Arabia Tourism Report Q4 2010
Business Monitor International, October 2010, Pages: 42
Saudi Arabia Tourism Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, tourism associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Saudi Arabia's tourism industry.
Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry is unique in that despite the limitations of strict entrance visa regulations, the industry has strong growth potential. BMI forecasts tourist arrivals to the country to grow by 5% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 12.91mn in 2010, after remaining constant in 2009 at just over 12mn. They forecast the number of tourist arrivals to grow by an average of 6.7% y-o-y to the end of our forecast period in 2014. One of the main drivers for the tourism industry is religious tourism. Saudi Arabia is home to two of Islam’s holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, and every year millions of Muslims come to Mecca for the Hajj, the largest annual pilgrimage in the world. In 2009, they expected concern about the spread of the H1N1 virus (swine flu) to cause a slight decline in pilgrimage numbers but so far in 2010 the virus has not put much downward pressure on the industry. Business travel is also a growing area, given Saudi Arabia’s status as the world’s largest oil exporter, not to mention its other large industries such as defence. That said, events in Yemen could threaten the stability of Saudi Arabia, as well as the wider region, potentially affecting inbound tourism.
The hospitality sector looks set to grow in tandem with tourist arrivals. BMI forecasts that there will be 319,000 hotel rooms in Saudi Arabia by 2014, up from 218,000 in 2009. In 2009, a number of international chains opened their first hotels in the market, including Rotana, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Accor and Raffles Hotels & Resorts. Those already present in the market are expanding, with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Al Hokair Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Rezidor Hotel Group and Wyndham Hotel Group all opening new hotels in 2010.
The Saudi authorities have said they want to diversify away from their dependence on oil, and the tourism industry has been a focal point. Government expenditure has focused on developing the religious tourism and business travel sectors in particular, and for this reason BMI forecast an increase in collective government expenditure (expenditure that cannot be assigned to a particular group of tourists) and individual government expenditure, which refers to investment in services with an identifiable individual customer, over the forecast period.
The government is also keen to develop its domestic tourism market in an effort to capture some of the capital spent by the millions of Saudi citizens that travel abroad each year. Saudi tourists mainly travel to other countries in the Middle East. Despite efforts to encourage more Saudis to holiday at home, BMI forecast the number of citizens travelling abroad increasing from an estimated 8.19mn in 2009 to 10.74mn by 2014. International tourism expenditure is also forecast to increase, reaching US$8.47mn by the end of the forecast period.
Saudi Arabia has been boosting its international presence and tourism marketing in 2010. The tourism board has announced that it will be holding 18 festivals and targeting all age groups. The festivals will be held throughout the country and will include sports events, entertainment, and Saudi culture and heritage. Four new provincial museums, in Bahah, Tabuk, Hail and Dammam, are scheduled to be established in the next two years, while the tourism authorities have also licensed 40 private museums to be established using the latest technology to showcase Saudi Arabia’s heritage and antiquities. Internationally, Saudi Arabia’s pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, which runs from May to October, is attracting over 30,000 people every day. The Saudi pavilion is the second largest, after China’s. To further cement the country’s global tourism footprint, the travel publisher Lonely Planet has announced that it intends to release a guide on tourist spots in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia Tourism SWOT
Saudi Arabia Political SWOT
Saudi Arabia Economic SWOT
Saudi Arabia Business Environment SWOT
Table: Arrivals Data, 2006-2014
Table: Accommodation Data, 2006-2014
Table: Tourist Expenditure & Economic Impact, 2006-2014
Table: Inbound Tourism Data, 2006-2014
Table: Outbound Tourism Data, 2006-2014
Table: Departures By Destination Country, 2006-2014 (‘000)
Market Overview – Travel
Global Oil Products Price Outlook
Table: Oil Product Price Data & Forecasts, 2010 (US$/bbl)
Table: Oil Product Price Data & Forecasts, 2007-2014 (US$/bbl)
Market Overview – Hospitality
Business Environment Outlook
BMI’s Security Ratings
Table: Middle East And Africa Defence & Security Ratings
Table: Middle East And North Africa State Vulnerability To Terrorism Index
City Terrorism Rating
Table: BMI’s Middle East And North Africa City Terrorism Index
Middle East And North Africa Security Overview
Table: Global Assumptions, 2009-2014
Table: Global & Regional Real GDP Growth, 2009-2012
Table: BMI And Consensus Forecasts, 2010-2011 (%)
Table: Developed States Real GDP Growth Forecasts, 2009-2012 (%)
Table: Emerging Markets Aggregate Growth, 2009-2012 (%)
Saudi Arabian Airlines
How We Generate Our Industry Forecasts
City Terrorism Ratings
Table: City Terrorism Ratings Methodology
- Saudi Arabian Airlines
- Nas Air
- Elaf Group
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