Saudi to invest $ 30.9 billion in tourism over next decade

17 Feb 2014

ATM roadshow arrives in Riyadh today as Saudi tourism companies finalise their marketing plans ahead of region’s largest travel and tourism event in Dubai

The annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM) roadshow arrives in Riyadh today (Tuesday 18 February) to deliver a presentation at the offices of the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities, to Saudi participants at this year’s exhibition.

Executives from Reed Travel Exhibitions the organiser of ATM, are conducting a the workshop ahead of this year’s 5-8 May event in Dubai, bringing together key industry figures in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to discuss marketing opportunities and how to showcase their proposition to ATM’s 21,000 trade visitors.

The Saudi government is investing heavily in its tourism sector, principally to provide employment opportunities for Saudi graduates. According to a 2013 MENA tourism and hospitality report by research consultancy aranca, investment in the travel and tourism sector is expected to increase at a CAGR of 4% to SAR 30.9 billion over a ten year period from 2013 to 23.

“The travel and tourism sector’s direct contribution to Saudi Arabian GDP is projected to increase at a CAGR of 4% to SAR 83.7 billion by 2023. Put that into perspective it is equivalent to about 9% of current Saudi GDP, which is a great achievement, as the Kingdom looks to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbon receipts,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

The number of tourists visiting KSA is estimated to increase at a CAGR of 2% to 21.3 million over the period 2013 – 2023. Revenues will total SAR 60.9 billion by 2023 – due to an increase in the number of religious tourists and growth of international shopping centres.

To cope with the increasing number of visitors, the Saudi government has outlined a plan to invest more than US$ 30 billion in its airports by 2020, including US$ 10 billion in private investment for the sector. More than US$ 12.5 billion has already been earmarked for the country’s four main international airports in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Madinah.

“These four airports handle 91.5% of total air travel throughout the country, including 72.5% of domestic travel. Spending from leisure tourists is expected to rise at a CAGR of 4.4% to SAR 79 billion by 2023,” added Walsh.

Riyadh is the final leg of the six Middle East destinations being visited by the ATM team during its roadshow which took in Bahrain, Kuwait, Beirut, Muscat and Dubai last week.

A strong delegation from the Kingdom is expected at ATM. Led by the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities it includes, Saudia Airline, Umrah & Makarim Hospitality Group, Fursan Travel & Leisure, Hanco Rent a Car, EbreezTech, Rahhal International, and Unique Choice.

Current and potential exhibitors visited during the roadshow will learn about new event features including the introduction of an annual theme, with 2014 shining the spotlight on the luxury travel sector. The seminar programme in particular will focus on this important theme, which is particularly relevant to Dubai and the rest of the Gulf region.

The popular ATM seminars return covering travel technology and other key industry issues such as luxury travel trends, aviation, Expo 2020, CSR and mid-scale hotels. Also returning are the visitor trails, helping visitors identify the specific travel sectors on the show floor including: shopping, career, budget, health and wellness, air and water travel.

New this year is a showcase theatre, which offers exhibitors the opportunity to present their products and services in one hour sessions and the ATM Live Wall, which will broadcast live streaming of interviews, panel debates and other show highlights.

Expanding into an additional exhibition hall, Arabian Travel Market 2014 will take place from the 5-8 May at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Last year, ATM welcomed over 21,000 visitors from 165 countries, covering 22,000 square metres of floor space.

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About Arabian Travel Market

In its 21st edition, Arabian Travel Market 2013 boasted more than 2,700 exhibitors and stand-sharers, from 91 countries. For more information visit:

Arabian Travel Market is part of the Reed Travel Exhibitions’ portfolio, which includes 15 of the world’s leading travel industry events.

Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry, with a wide-ranging portfolio of 21 international events in 14 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa. Its market-leading, business-to-business events cover all elements of travel and tourism, including leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, events, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel. RTE is part of Reed Exhibitions.”

Reed Exhibitions

The world's leading organiser of trade and consumer events running over 470 events in 37 countries. Reed Exhibitions excels in creating high profile, highly targeted business and consumer exhibitions and events to establish and maintain business relations, and generate new business. Reed Exhibitions network of offices and promoters extends to 65 countries.

Reed Elsevier

Reed Elsevier is a world leading provider of professional information and online workflow solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal, Risk Information and Analytics, and Business sectors. Based in over 200 locations worldwide, they create authoritative content delivered through market leading brands, enabling their customers to find the essential data, analysis and commentary to support their decisions.

For more information, please contact:

Nathalie Viselé
Shamal Marketing Communications
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Office 106, Arjaan Tower
Dubai Media City Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Office: +971 4 3652711 I Direct : +971 4 3652712 I Mobile : +971 50 4576525 Fax:+971 4 4278703
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