BMI View: Saudi Arabia's tourism industry presents significant growth potential. The market has long been based upon the enormous number of religious pilgrims that visit each year and extensive transport and accommodation infrastructure has been built up to support this huge inbound arrivals market. Outside of this sector there has been limited development, however the government is reportedly committed to expanding tourism under economic diversification plans which could see Saudi Arabia opened up to a broader range of leisure tourism visitors, in turn stimulating investment in the hotel sector and other supporting leisure and retail infrastructure. This growth potential is heavily dependent upon security, both within Saudi Arabia and throughout the unstable Middle Eastern region.
|e/f = BMI estimate/forecast. Source: National sources, BMI|
|International tourism receipts, USDbn||8.69||10.21||13.09||14.86||15.38||16.21||17.18||18.04|
|International tourism receipts, USDbn, % y-o-y||3.5||17.5||28.2||13.5||3.5||5.4||6.0||5.1|
|International tourism receipts, SARbn||32.59||38.31||49.12||55.75||57.66||60.78||64.41||67.67|
|International tourism receipts, SARbn, % y-o-y||3.5||17.6||28.2||13.5||3.4||5.4||6.0||5.1|
|Total arrivals, '000||13,400.00||14,024.78||14,532.35||14,807.42||14,813.96||14,829.55||14,832.92||14,806.88|
|Total arrivals, '000, % y-o-y||-6.1||4.7||3.6||1.9||0.0||0.1||0.0||-0.2|
Key Updates And Forecasts
Religious tourism will remain the main focus of the industry in Saudi Arabia. The government is targeting 15mn Umrah pilgrims to Makkah by 2020, rising to 30mn by 2030. At present, our forecasts put total tourism arrivals at 14.8mn by the end of our current forecast period in 2020, though some upside risk is presented by extensive government investment in transport and accommodation infrastructure to facilitate greater pilgrimage numbers.
Prince Sultan bin Salman, the head of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, has reportedly affirmed the country's intention to become more open to tourism visitors, including a proposal to reintroduce group tourism visas for non-Muslim visitors from countries such as the United States, the UK, Germany and Japan.
Investment in transport infrastructure is ongoing. About 80% of work on the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah is reportedly complete. The airport will have a 33km baggage system, 132 vertical lifts, 32 baggage screening machines and 22,000 parking spaces and will have capacity to handle up to 80mn passengers annually. Operations are expected to commence in 2017.
The Saudi Arabia Tourism Report has been researched at source and features BMI Research's independent assessment and forecasts for tourist expenditure; government expenditure on tourism; passenger arrivals and departures by mode of transport, reason for travel, origin and destination; and the accommodation market.
BMI's Saudi Arabia Tourism Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Saudi tourism industry.
- Benchmark BMI's independent tourism industry forecasts for Saudi Arabia to test other views - a key input for successful budgetary and planning in the Saudi tourism market.
- Target business opportunities and risks in the Saudi tourism sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Saudi Arabia.
- Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. KPIs and latest activity).
BMI Industry View
This contains a synopsis of our forecasts, and any changes, together with an overview of key trends and developments in the tourism industry, and an assessment of the impact of various economic and national factors which might affect the sector. It also covers new transport projects, new hotel developments, and acquisitions.
Industry SWOT Analysis
Analysis of the major Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the tourism sector and within the broader political, economic and business environment.
BMI Industry Forecast Scenario
Forecasts to end-2019 for all key indicators, supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecasts:
- Inbound Tourism: Total arrivals (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), arrivals by region (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), arrivals by country (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), top 10 source countries for arrivals.
- Outbound Tourism: Total departures (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), departures by regional destination (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), departures by country (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), top 10 destination countries.
- Travel & Receipts: Methods of travel for arrivals (air, ship, rail) (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), international tourism receipts for transport (USDbn and growth % y-o-y), international tourism receipts for travel items (USDbn and growth % y-o-y).
- Hotels: Hotel industry value (USDbn and growth % y-o-y), number of hotels (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), total overnight stays (‘000 and growth % y-o-y), length of stay, occupancy rate (%), number of total
BMI’s Tourism Risk Reward Index
BMI’s Risk Reward Indices provide investors (tour operators, tourism infrastructure investors, financial institutions) looking for opportunities in the region with a clear country-comparative assessment of a market’s risks and potential rewards.
Each of the country markets are scored using a sophisticated model that includes more than 40 industry, economic and demographic data points to provide an indices of highest to lowest appeal to investors, with each position explained.
This contains a comprehensive overview of the tourism industry in the country, its overall value, the value of its hotels industry, trends in the hotels industry and any new developments. It also contains an evaluation of the top 10 global hotel groups’ presence in the country, which brands are present in which cities, the number of hotels and any planned developments and strategies. The Market Overview also considers the tourism infrastructure developments in the country, in particular transport infrastructure projects such as ports and airports. Tables are also included from our regularly updated Key Projects Database, which contain details of projects, their value, the time frame, their current status, the companies involved and their estimated completion dates.
This section provides insight into key domestic players in the hotel industry, discussing, for example, the number of hotels, brands, financial data, geographical spread, recent developments and strategies of individual companies.
The Tourism Reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports.
*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reprts instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.