Business Monitor International

Saudi Arabia Tourism Report

Published 24 March 2014

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Saudi Arabia Tourism Report

Our tourism report for Saudi Arabia examines the significant long-term potential offered by the industry but highlights the potential downward pressure that regional uncertainty could have on arrival numbers as the political landscape changes.

Final full-year 2013 data for Saudi Arabia's tourism industry performance were unavailable as this report was being compiled. Consequently, we leave our key tourist arrivals forecasts unchanged this quarter, although we have now extended our forecast period out to 2018 for all key tourism industry indicators.

All indications are that 2013 will have proved another positive year for Saudi Arabian tourism, in line with BMI's views on the subject. Looking forward, BMI holds a positive stance towards Saudi Arabia's tourism sector. For 2014 we believe that that there will be 8.6% growth in arrivals from all regions, with tourism receipts set to rise by around 9% in US dollar terms. Over the longer terms, we forecast 37.4% growth in arrivals to 25.8mn in 2018, and 40.6% growth in tourism receipts to US$14.2bn.

In one positive recent development for the sector, in December 2013 it was reported by Arabian Business that the Saudi Arabian government will spend SAR34bn (US$9bn) on developing a beach on the country's east coast near to the borders with Bahrain and Qatar into a new tourism destination, according to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities. Al Uqair Development Company has reportedly received investments worth SAR17bn (US$4.5bn) for the development of the beach, which is expected to open in 2017. The project is expected to generate 37,700 direct jobs and 56,000 indirect and seasonal jobs. BMI will monitor the progress of this new tourism project over the coming years.

According to BMI's Infrastructure team, significant investment in tourism-related construction looks set to continue over the coming years as the country looks to capitalise on a notable rise in demand from Islamic pilgrims. Indeed, according to a...

Table of Contents

BMI Industry View
Business Environment
Industry Forecast
Inbound Tourism
Table: Saudi Arabia Inbound Tourism, 2011-2018
Table: Saudi Arabia Inbound Tourism, Top 10 Markets By Arrivals, 2011-2018 ('000)
Outbound Tourism
Table: Saudi Arabia Outbound Tourism, 2011-2018
Table: Saudi Arabia Outbound Tourism, Top 10 Destinations By Departures, 2011-2018 ('000)
Table: Saudi Arabia International Tourism Receipts For Transport & Travel, 2011-2018
Table: Saudi Arabia Breakdown Of Methods Of Tourist Travel, 2011-2018
Table: Saudi Arabia Hotel Accommodation, 2011-2018
Industry Risk/Reward Ratings
Tourism Risk/Reward Ratings
Table: Middle East And North Africa Tourism Risk/ Rewards Ratings
Security Risk/Reward Ratings
Table: Middle East And Africa Defence And Security Ratings
Market Overview
Table: Global Hotel Groups' Presence In Saudi Arabia
Table: Saudi Arabia's Airport Infrastructure Projects
Company Profile
Elaf Group
MENA Hotels and Resorts
Global Industry Overview
Table: Hotel Water Consumption By Region (litres per guest per night)
Global Assumptions
Table: Global Assumptions, 2012-2018
Table: Global And Regional Real GDP Growth (% change y-o-y) And Exchange Rates, 2012-2015
Developed States
Table: Developed States, Real GDP Growth Forecasts, 2012-2015
Emerging Markets
Table: Emerging Markets, Real GDP Growth Forecasts, 2012-2015
Table: BMI Versus Bloomberg Consensus Real GDP Growth Forecasts, 2013 And 2014 (%)
Demographic Forecast
Table: Saudi Arabia's Population By Age Group, 1990-2020 ('000)
Table: Saudi Arabia's Population By Age Group, 1990-2020 (% of total)
Table: Saudi Arabia's Key Population Ratios, 1990-2020
Table: Saudi Arabia's Rural And Urban Population, 1990-2020
Industry Forecast Methodology
Risk/Reward Ratings Methodology
Table: Weighting Of Indicators

The Saudi Arabia Tourism Report has been researched at source and features Business Monitor International (BMI)'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.

Key Benefits

  • 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-2018 for all key indicators (see list below), supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecasts:

Inbound tourism: Arrivals (‘000), arrivals growth (% y-o-y), arrivals by region, growth (% y-o-y), arrivals by country, growth (% y-o-y), top 10 countries based on arrivals, growth (% y-o-y).

Outbound tourism: Departures (‘000), growth (% y-o-y), departures by regional destination (‘000 and growth % y-o-y).

Travel: Methods of travel for arrivals (Air, Ship, Rail), (‘000) and (% growth y-o-y), international Tourism receipts for transport (US$bn), (growth % y-o-y), international Tourism receipts for travel items (US$bn), (growth % y-o-y).

Hotels: Hotel industry value (US$bn), (growth % y-o-y), (%GDP), (per capita), (per employee), number of hotels and like establishments (‘000), (growth % y-o-y), total overnight stays, (‘000), (growth % y-o-y), length of stay, occupancy rate (%), number of hotel rooms, (‘000), (growth % y-o-y).

Industry Risk Reward Ratings

BMI’s Tourism Industry Risk Reward Ratings provide a country-comparative Risk Reward Ratings index aimed at investors (tour operators, tourism infrastructure investors, financial institutions) in the regional tourism market.

The ratings methodology makes sophisticated use of over 40 industry, economic and demographic data points.

We also have Security Risk Reward Ratings which provide a detailed assessment of possible threats to the country (and by extenuation to the tourism industry), ranging from economic and political upheaval, to terrorist attacks and organised crime levels.

Market Overview

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.

Company Profiles

Examines the competitive positioning and short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape.

The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.

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'An essential, multi-faceted research tool. BMI’s thorough understanding of the major market players enables an informed – and informative – review of the sector’s actual performance, together with useful insights into current industry issues, which are topped-off with detailed and invaluable forecasts of industry and macroeconomic trends.’

Senior Research Analyst, ABC International Bank plc