Hospitality in Saudi Arabia is showing the strongest recovery from the Covid-19 shutdown in Middle East, with advance hotel bookings steadily rising. The Kingdom is developing several new projects to enhance tourism as part of the country’s strategy to diversify its oil-dependent economy. Tourism and hospitality sectors are expecting a big push with new opportunities through government grants and aids. The Kingdom has been easing travel restrictions and started welcoming tourists and issued more than 400,000 tourism visas, as per Saudi Tourism Authority’s Hamidaddin, which is making the Kingdom the fastest growing destination in the world. In addition, travel restrictions are expected to be lifted in Saudi Arabia for citizens at the beginning of 2021.
The Government has announced its plans to reopen the two holiest sites in Islam to pilgrims in October. Local and foreign residents of Saudi Arabia will be permitted to enter the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina for the year-round umrah pilgrimage seven months after visits were suspended.
Recently Saudi Tourism Authority started a campaign “Saudi Summer” which is encouraging their native travelers and expats to enjoy 10 destinations from Red Sea, beaches and forests to mountain peaks and historic areas. The authority is working with 90 travel trade and hospitality partners to create more than 100 packages across the 10 destinations. In August, the advance bookings in Saudi Arabia exceeded pre-Covid level reaching 110%, as per eRevMax, an award winning travel technology company. The country is already starting to welcome a limited number of pilgrims following months of tight restrictions. The total number of inbound and outbound tourist trips in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach 62 million trips by the end of 2020.
Over time, domestic tourism in Saudi Arabia has received a major boost, which is helping the Kingdom’s economic recovery. The Saudi Authority are looking to reopen the Umrah market in a phased manner and are expected to announce new measures and protocols to boost travel confidence. Further, OTAs like our partners Seera, Halal Booking and other sales channels have been offering promotions and discounts on online bookings, which is proving to be attractive for traveller and pilgrims. This has led to a rise in domestic tourists who are now making a beeline for Saudi Arabia to experience its ancient trade centers and unexplored places within the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has the second highest number of Covid-19 cases in the region. However, with patient recovery rate higher than the global average, the Kingdom has been easing restrictions since June.
With increasing competition and price sensitive guests, hoteliers need to ensure they are visible on multiple OTAs and metasearch channels as well as keep their brand website updated to be able to achieve maximum occupancy and meet revenue targets. Hence, knowing the right channels that bring business to your city is a key and being connected to them is very important for your online sales strategy. To find out how you can improve online revenue, contact us today and speak to our connectivity advisor – https://goo.gl/3gKUJZ