Saudi inbound, outbound tourism continues to surge


(MENAFN Press) Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2 October, 2012) – With the busiest time of year ahead for religious travel to Saudi Arabia, tourism in the Kingdom is in the media spotlight.

According to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, more than 1.8 million foreign pilgrims travelled to Hajj in 2011, with all evidence pointing to continued increase over the next few years.

In the first quarter of 2012 alone, 2.9 million foreign tourists visited the country, spending nearly US 1.9 billion according to a report released by the Tourism Information and Research Centre. Inbound tourists represent about 77 percent of total tourists, with 23 percent spending only one night in the country.

Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar and Egypt registered as the top five countries sending tourists to Saudi Arabia during Q1, with domestic tourists also an important contributor to tourism receipts.

“Inbound tourism is mostly for business and religious reasons, and there are a lot of new projects happening in Saudi Arabia in terms of construction, infrastructure, new centres, and especially in Mecca where there is a rapid expansion to the holy sites,” said Thierry Bertin, Vice President of World Wide Sales for Hyatt International “ South West Asia.

Three new Hyatt hotels are opening in close proximity to several religious sites, including the holiest shrine of Islam “ Al Masjid Al-Haram or the Sacred Mosque, Mount Arafat, Muzdalifah, and Mina. More info

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