Travel and Tourism in Saudi Arabia to 2018 Available at


Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/16/2014 -- Synopsis

The report provides detailed market analysis, information and insights, including:

Historic and forecast tourist volumes covering the entire Saudi Arabian travel and tourism sector

Detailed analysis of tourist spending patterns in Saudi Arabia for various categories in the travel and tourism sector, such as accommodation, sightseeing and entertainment, foodservice, transportation, retail, travel intermediaries and others

Detailed market classification across each category, with analysis using similar metrics

Detailed analysis of the airline, hotel, car rental and travel intermediaries industries

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Executive summary

Saudi Arabia has an oil-driven economy, as for several years the country has been dependent on oil and related sectors for economic growth. However, focus has shifted to development of other sectors such as tourism in order to decrease dependence on oil, particularly after the global financial crisis of 2009 when the oil sector declined at a rate of 9.0%. The move will also create employment opportunities in sectors other than oil within the country. Tourism in the country is significantly dependent on religious tourism and has witnessed an increase in the number of pilgrims over the years.


This report provides an extensive analysis related to the tourism demands and flows in Saudi Arabia:

It details historical values for the Saudi tourism sector for 2009–2013, along with forecast figures for 2014–2018

It provides comprehensive analysis of travel and tourism demand factors, with values for both the 2009–2013 review period and the 2014–2018 forecast period

The report provides a detailed analysis and forecast of domestic, inbound and outbound tourist flows in Saudi Arabia.

It provides comprehensive analysis of the trends in the airline, hotel, car rental and travel intermediaries industries, with values for both the 2009–2013 review period and the 2014–2018 forecast period.

Reasons to buy

Take strategic business decisions using historic and forecast market data related to the Saudi travel and tourism sector.

Understand the demand-side dynamics within the Saudi travel and tourism sector, along with key market trends and growth opportunities.

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Key highlights

The presence of Islam’s two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, is a source of a perennial flow of religious tourists, with millions of Muslims visiting Saudi Arabia annually for the Hajj pilgrimage. According to the Saudi Tourism and Antiquities Committee (SCTA) data, of the 17 million tourists who visited Saudi Arabia in 2013, 6.9 million (40.6%) did so for religious reasons.

The tourism sector heavily relies on international arrivals; inbound tourism expenditure reached SAR58.5 billion (US$15.6 billion) in 2013, compared to SAR41.6 billion (US$11.1 billion) from domestic travel in the same year. This is despite domestic volume being more than international arrivals, with 19.4 million domestic trips against 13.2 million international arrivals.

There has been a recorded decline in domestic tourism in Saudi Arabia, despite a rise in mean household income across the country. The major reason behind this decrease has been the increasing preference of outbound travel over domestic travel among Saudi Arabian residents. Furthermore, owing to the lack of entertainment options such as cinemas and restaurants allowing men and women to dine together, the Saudis preferred to travel outbound. Infrastructure development works in and around the holy cities of Mecca and Medina also impacted the flow of domestic tourists.

Religious tourism is the main incentive of travel to Saudi Arabia. Therefore, countries with large Muslim populations are among the major source countries for Saudi Arabia. The presence of the Islamic holy sites Mecca and Medina fuel this demand, particularly during the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Growth was recorded in inbound tourism to Saudi Arabia during the review period, as the number of international arrivals rose from 10.9 million in 2009 to 13.2 million in 2013, at a CAGR of 5.00%. Inbound tourist expenditure increased at a robust CAGR of 14.62%, from SAR34.0 billion (US$9.0 billion) in 2009 to SAR58.5 billion (US$15.6 billion) in 2013.

The preference for air as the mode of transport for outbound travelers is expected to increase, with the number of outbound tourists traveling by air increasing from 14.4 million in 2013 to 25.1 million in 2018. The entry of Qatar Airways in 2014 and the launch of new Saudi Gulf Airline in 2015 will increase competition in the airlines market, consequently making air services available to customers at competitive prices and also providing access to a vast network.

In 2012, the Saudi General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) announced that foreign airlines will be allowed to apply for route authority to operate domestic flights. In December 2012, Qatar Airways became the first foreign airline to obtain a license to operate on domestic and international routes based from Saudi Arabia. Qatar’s Al Maha airline will start operating by the third quarter of 2014 with a fleet of 10 aircraft, with plans to build a fleet of 50 aircraft in Saudi Arabia. The huge domestic market in Saudi Arabia, which is currently served by Saudi Airlines and budget carrier Flynas, will see an increase in competition after this.

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