Report unveils nature of Saudi Arabia’s blossoming tourism industry

Seera Group

A report commission by Seera Group (a provider of travel and tourism services), prepared by SkiftX, has zoomed in on Saudi Arabia’s evolving tourism industry.

Entitled ‘Decoding the Saudi Arabian Travel and Tourism Industry,’ the report offers a comprehensive understanding of travel trends and traveller preferences. It grants insight on how the Kingdom is working to achieve the Saudi Vision 2030 goal of welcoming 100 million international and domestic overnight visits a year and increasing tourism’s contribution to the GDP by 10 per cent.

The report emphasises that the ongoing transformation of the sector will result in more socio-economic progress, including the creation of new jobs for Saudi nationals and the growth of a vibrant Saudi SME value chain.

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Board member and group CEO, Seera Group, Abdullah Al-Dawood commented: “Saudi Arabia is well-positioned to be one of the world’s leading tourism destinations. This is reflected in the findings of our first-of-its-kind report, which presents compelling insights on how the Kingdom’s tourism landscape is currently evolving. We are confident that it will help strengthen awareness, partnerships and inward investments in the Kingdom’s tourism sector.

“Having announced an investment of over $2.9 billion to cover tourism promotion, distribution, infrastructure and Saudi human capital development, we at Seera Group are challenging ourselves to drive the transformational growth of Saudi Arabia’s travel and tourism sector,” Al-Dawood added.

SkiftX’s report reveals that opening Saudi Arabia up to tourism and introducing simplified visa processes, such as e-visas and visa on arrival for citizens of 49 nations, will be a key driver of inbound tourism. The strategy by Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage to entice first-time visitors to ‘discover Saudi’ from 2019 to 2022 and its subsequent extension to ‘experience Saudi’ will contribute to significant gains for the industry.

Key projects that will contribute to Saudi’s tourism popularity include the Red Sea Project and NEOM, the megacity; Seven, which is developing entertainment centres across the country; and Amaala, a wellness focused resort, plus much more. These are all expected to entice visitors from around the world as well as Saudi Seasons and various events.

Meanwhile, Hajj and Umrah tourism is set for further growth, due to visitors now being able to complete pilgrimages any time of year and not needing specialised Umrah visas.

Key trends were identified by the report regarding Saudi outbound traveller behaviour. It revealed that there are four segments of Saudi leisure travellers: family travellers, take-it-easy travellers, grown-up explorers and honeymooners. According to research by Seera Group’s flagship consumer travel brand, Almosafer, Saudi Arabians like to take at least one trip every year as family, if not more, while take-it-easy travellers are younger and look for a place where they can go to relax and be comfortable, such as beach resorts.

Grown-up explorers are young too but yearn for adventure and an experience they have never had before, while honeymooners seek security and comfort, and want everything taken care of and arranged before they arrive.

The report has also revealed that the number women travelling in groups or individually is expected to increase. It also revealed that Saudi Arabians travel much more frequently and spend more per trip by a significant margin. London, Dubai, Paris, Cairo and Sharm El-Sheikh are the top five all-time favourite destinations for Saudi travellers, but at the moment, Baku, Tbilisi, Kuala Lumpur, Dubrovnik and Jakarta are trending.

To read the full report, click here.