The Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA) has recently revealed new data on the strong growth of the tourism industry in Saudi Arabia and predicted equally impressive results for the next decade. According to their data, the past then years have brought a 172% increase in the number of hotels in the Kingdom, mainly powered by business travel fueled by the growing position of Saudi Arabia as regional economic power and trend leader.
By 2020, the tourism demands are expected to grow at a fast pace, demanding more than 230,000 hotel rooms to be added to be able to meet travelers’ accommodation needs. The new rooms should cover all types of lodging, from budget hotels to luxury rooms, all amounting to a 83% increase of Saudi Arabia’s current accommodation requirements.
“The future outlook of the Saudi Arabian hotel industry is today more prosperous than ever, with the enhanced competition through more and more international and local companies of a high calibre investing in the sector with improved services and standards,” said Eng. Ahmed Al Issa, General Director for Licensing and Quality, SCTA.
He further explained that, in order to support the Kingdom’s thriving hotel and tourism industry, Saudi Arabia needs to become more business friendly and keep focusing on the corporate sector. Hotels in general need to provide complex business services, including Internet connections and other tech services and long-term apartments for businessmen spending longer stretches of time in Saudi cities.
The Kingdom is currently implementing a strategy allowing them to become a top destinations for conferences, meetings, exhibitions and other such events, strategy that will also fuel the growth of the hotel industry.
“The hotel industry is, despite issues that may be affecting other sectors, continuously growing, and although sensitive to political and economic factors, is not as fragile as some people may think,” added Eng. Ahmed Al Issa. “Saudi Arabia has seen its hotel industry pick up quickly despite the economic pressures facing the world since 2008, and there is a strong focus on both leisure and business tourism. With such high forecasts for demand over the coming decade, there is significant investment opportunity in the hotel industry which will support the growth in the Kingdom’s wider economy.”