Government led investment is driving a surge in domestic tourism across Saudi Arabia – with experts predicting a 40 percent surge in the number of internal trips made between 2015 and 2020.
The Euromonitor International Tourism Forecast report, prepared ahead of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2017, has revealed record levels of domestic travel within the kingdom.
Following the announcement of Saudi Vision 2030 – the country’s attempt to become the world’s leading Arab nation – vast initiatives have been launched aiming at encouraging Saudis to explore all the kingdom has to offer, the report said.
It added that it has led to an almost instant spike in the number of people travelling internally – and forecasters now predict will see 40 percent more domestic vacations taken in 2020 than were made just five years earlier.
Nikola Kosutic, research manager at Euromonitor International, said: “The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) is investing generously in boosting domestic tourism, launching a number of new initiatives.
“Live Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with Saudi Airlines and Aramco, for example, encourages residents to visit historic locations, whilst Leave No Trace aims to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the natural beauty of the country.”
Other schemes aimed at boosting domestic tourism include The Colours of Saudi Arabia Forum, which organises various events and competitions related to photography. A Tourism Call Centre is also now in place, providing intensive information about attractions and events across the kingdom.
Euromonitor International identifies Makkah as the “main attraction” of the kingdom due to religious tourism, alongside Madinah, with Al Riyadh Province and the Eastern Province also popular with business travellers.
The fifth edition of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia takes place in Jeddah from April 4-6.