Domestic tourism in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow 400% by 2019
Saudi Arabia’s two major cities Riyadh and Jeddah are predicted to see 16,000 new hotel rooms by 2018, a recent report by real-estate consultancy JLL has found.
Over half of these rooms will be part of new 5-star hotel developments, as international hotel brands race to establish a foothold in the Kingdom. Jeddah is expected to see 2,700 more rooms in 2015 alone, JLL said.
Accor Group plans to open nearly 10 hotels in the country by 2018. Meanwhile Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), which currently has 24 hotels in Saudi Arabia, has announced the opening of another nine properties, including the world’s largest Holiday Inn in Makkah.
Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer for India, Middle East & Africa at IHG, said Saudi Arabia has been one of the strongest markets for the hospitality group since its entry into the region 40 years ago.
Tourism in the Kingdom is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, he added, with the industry forecasting a 400% growth in domestic tourism to around 640 million nights by 2019.
“The number of pilgrims expected to visit the Kingdom is set to more than double, and reach five million religious visitors this year, which presents a great opportunity for us to continue to expand our footprint in the country,” Gauvin said, quoted in a statement released ahead of the Hotel Show Saudi Arabia.
“We are in a great position to cater for this growth with the opening of Holiday Inn Makkah in 2016, which will be the largest Holiday Inn hotel in the world with 1,238 rooms.”
The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia will run May 3-5 in the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events.