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Saudi Arabia to invest SAR30.9 billion in tourism between 2013 and 2023


Kingdom’s main international airports to receive funds, Aranca report reveals

February 17, 2014 3:13 by

Saudi Arabia will invest heavily in its travel and tourism sector, which is expected to increase at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of four per cent to SAR30.9 billion over a ten-year period from 2013 to 2023, according to a 2013 MENA Tourism and Hospitality Report by research consultancy, Aranca. The Saudi government also aims to provide employment opportunities for local graduates through these investments.

“The travel and tourism sector’s direct contribution to Saudi’s GDP is projected to rise at a CAGR of four per cent to SAR83.7bn by 2023. When you put that into perspective, it’s equivalent to approximately nine per cent of the current GDP, as the kingdom looks to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbon receipts,” says Mark Walsh, portfolio director at Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organisers of the annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM) – its roadshow arrives in Riyadh tomorrow (Tuesday, February 18).

Tourism revenues are expected to total SAR60.9bn by 2023, due to an increase in the number of Hajj and Umrah tourists, as well as the growth of international shopping centres. As a result, the Saudi government has outlined a plan to invest more than SAR112bn in its airports by 2020, including SAR37.5bn in private investment for the aviation sector.

More than SAR46bn has already been earmarked for the country’s four main international airports: King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, King Fahd International Airport in Dammam and Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah. “These four airports handle 91.5 per cent of the total air travel throughout the country, including 72.5 per cent of domestic travel. Spending by leisure tourists is also expected to rise at a CAGR of 4.4 per cent to SAR79bn by 2023,” adds Walsh.

The ATM will take place in Dubai from May 5 to 8 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.


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