Its boom time for Saudi Arabia's hospitality industry with several new hotel projects coming up in its major cities Riyadh and Jeddah which will take the total number of new hotel rooms to 16,000 by 2018, said a report.
Over 50 per cent will be part of new five-star hotel developments, as international hotel brands put in place ambitious expansion plans. The number of rooms in Jeddah is expected to increase by 2,700 in 2015 alone, said a report published by JLL.
Accor Group has plans to open nearly 10 hotels by 2018, while current market leader, InterContinental Hotels Group, which has 24 hotels throughout the kingdom, has announced the opening of a further nine outlets including the world’s largest Holiday Inn in Makkah.
The volume of investment in Saudi tourism and travel market this year is estimated at SR170 billion, of which SR70 billion was generated from domestic tourism.
The tourism sector in the Kingdom has high expectations for a big boost in the market next year, after the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) approved provisions to issue tourism visas and regulate the system, in order to revive local tourism. If the proposals are finally approved, the SCTA would issue visas in coordination with the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs.