Demand for tourism services in Saudi Arabia soars

13/09/22

Saudi Arabia has witnessed demand for tourism services increase 108% according to a recent Business Traveler report.

Consequently, the value of tourism services reached SAR 4.1 billion (USD 1.1 billion) during the first half of 2022, accounting for spending across domestic, foreign and local visitors.

The report noted that the individual travel sector witnessed its strongest quarterly growth ever, rising by 175% year on year, reaching SAR 1.1 billion (USD 290 million). The sector is predicted to be worth SAR 4 billion (USD 1.06 billion) by the end of 2022.

Furthermore, the corporate and government travel sector recorded growth of 27% in total room reservation value, rising to SAR 600 million (USD 160 million) in the second quarter of 2022. In addition, the hospitality segment generated revenues of SAR 27 million (USD 7.2 million) - an increase of 93% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to last year.

The introduction of the visa on arrival (VOA) scheme saw demand for inbound tourism to Saudi Arabia witness unprecedented growth. The program allows holders of valid visas from the United States, the United Kingdom and the Schengen area to enter the country. As a result, Discover Saudi, the country’s destination management company, recorded 50% growth in reservation value which reached SAR 24 million (USD 6.4 million) in the second quarter of 2022 year on year.

Likewise, Hajj and Umrah trips resulted in revenues of SAR 10 million (USD 2.67 million) for the second quarter of 2022. This increase was attributed to the resumption of religious travel after coronavirus related travel bans were lifted.

Meanwhile, the car rental sector saw individual and corporate reservations witness positive growth. Individual bookings through the Lumi car rental mobile application and retail outlets at the country’s airports and major locations led to revenues increasing 40% to SAR 171 million (USD 45.6 million) in the second quarter of 2022.

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