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A total of 32,621 hotel rooms are currently under construction in Saudi Arabia, as the Kingdom prepares to meet pent-up demand from pilgrims returning to holy cities. This is according to the latest research from STR, commissioned by Arabian Travel Market 2022, which will take place at the Dubai World Trade Center from May 9-12.

Analysts found that the country’s revenue recovery index per available room stands at 52 percent, noting that the absence of millions of Muslim pilgrims has had a significant impact on hotel performance in Saudi Arabia. Medina and Makkah recorded RevPAR rates of only 33% and 24%, respectively, in 2021.

Although significantly below pre-pandemic levels, Saudi hotel performance recorded year-on-year gains in 2021 and the sector’s recovery is expected to continue through the coming year, with pent-up demand leading to further improvements as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Manager ME – Arabian Travel Market, said: “As has been the case with markets around the world, the global pandemic has had a major impact on the Saudi hospitality sector. Even so, STR’s findings clearly point to a continued and sustained recovery, and we look forward to exploring the vast untapped potential of the Kingdom’s booming tourism sector at ATM 2022.”

Hotels in Alkhobar are currently outperforming those in other major cities in Saudi Arabia, with RevPAR surpassing pre-pandemic levels in 2021. Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah, meanwhile, recorded recovery index rates 88%, 85% and 56%, respectively, last year. .

In terms of outbound travel, research by Colliers International shows that outbound travel from the Kingdom is expected to reach 6,075,000 in 2022, up from around 3,793,000 in 2021 and 4,839,000 in 2020. More In the long term, outbound tourist travel is expected to increase. increase to 9,262,000 in 2025, although this figure would still be significantly lower than the peak of 19,751,000 recorded in 2019.

Spending by outbound tourists is expected to reach SR32.656 billion ($8.7 billion) this year, up from around SR19.734 billion in 2021 and SR21.969 billion in 2020. Total spending is expected to reach SR54.624 billion.

With two sessions dedicated exclusively to the Kingdom, attendees, exhibitors and delegates will have ample opportunity to immerse themselves in the tourism, travel and hospitality industry in Saudi Arabia at ATM 2022.

The first, “From Strategy to Reality: Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Vision Comes of Age”, which is part of the ATM Saudi Forum, will focus on infrastructure advancements, niche markets and new opportunities, as the country strives to attract 100 million annual visitors by 2030. The second, “Saudi Arabia’s Master Plan for Responsible Tourism Development,” will explore how sustainability, l Community inclusion, education and training, and the legacy impact of the Kingdom’s global tourism vision can offer a best practice model for other global destinations.

The ATM Saudi Forum will bring together high-level experts, including Mahmoud Abdulhadi, deputy minister in charge of investment attraction at the Saudi Ministry of Tourism; Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of Saudia; Amr Al-Madani, CEO, Royal Commission for AlUla; Majed bin Ayed Al-Nefaie, CEO, Seera Group Holding; Fawaz Farooqui, Managing Director, Cruise Saudi; John Pagano, CEO, Red Sea Development Company and AMAALA; and Jerry Inzerillo, CEO, Diriyah Gate Development Authority.

ATM 2022 will host a range of high-profile exhibitors from across the Kingdom, including the Saudi Tourism Authority, which has expanded its exhibition area by 40% compared to 2021 – as well as Saudia Airlines, Flynas, Seera, Red Sea Project, NEOM, Dur Hospitality, and member of the Al-Hokair group for the first time.

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