As this year’s The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia’s Vision Conference, Deloitte revealed that data provided by MAS (a tourism research and information centre) anticipates a 43 per cent jump in the number of inbound tourist arrivals to the KSA.
According to the figures, international trips made to Saudi Arabia are estimated to increase from 18 million in 2015 to an impressive 25.8 million in 2020.
Head of travel, hospitality and leisure advisory – Middle East, Deloitte, Grant Salter presented the forecasts as part of a ‘Market Performance, Trends and Projects in Saudi Arabia’ talk at the second annual Vision Conference.
He declared: “The Kingdom already sees strong tourism figures and hotel occupancy rates have historically been relatively high. There are more than 49,000 new hotel rooms under construction or in final planning across the country to meet the demands of this significant increase in tourists.
“These figures were prepared before the government’s Vision 2030 announcement in which tourism is planned to play a more meaningful role in the Saudi economy. We believe that with this vision, and improvements to the hospitality and leisure offering throughout the Kingdom – there is a good chance that the projected increases will be met, if not exceeded,” Salter added.
The Vision Conference runs alongside the fourth Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, where expert speakers from Hilton Worldwide, King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), One to One Hotels and Resorts, Iconsulthotels, Figjam, HOCHTIEF ViCon, Resnet World, RoomNetTV, among others, have been sharing their insight on the latest hospitality industry trends in the KSA.
Attending, director, AlKamal International (a Saudi-based developer), Ismail AlKamal shed light on ‘Lean startup methodology and how it relates to hospitality projects’.
He additionally shared secrets behind some of the developers’ most impressive projects. One of the most notable projects presented by AlKamal was major refurbishment works to the Hilton in Makkah. The AlKamal International team managed to carry out works on two new restaurants and three 30-storey elevators whilst the hotel was at full occupancy.
“None of the guests or the hotel staff were aware that our team was at work. To minimise delays and increase productivity, our company has experimented with a number of project management methodologies,” AlKamal said.
The final Vision Conference sessions conclude today (May 19) and will be focusing on the latest sustainability and design trends for hotels.