In Saudi Arabia, a total of 32,621 hotel rooms are now under construction as the nation prepares to accommodate the pent-up demand from pilgrims coming to its sacred cities of Makkah and Madina.
According to the most recent STR data, commissioned by Arabian Travel Market, the country’s revenue per available room (RevPAR) recovery index sits at 52%, indicating that the absence of millions of muslim pilgrims has adversely damaged hotel performance in Saudi Arabia.
Although much lower than pre-pandemic levels, Saudi hotel performance increased year-on-year in 2021, and the tourism recovery is likely to continue in the next year, with pent-up demand driving further improvements as Covid-19-related limitations lift.
In 2021, the RevPAR rates in Medina and Makkah were just 33% and 24%, respectively. Meanwhile, Riyadh, Dammam, and Jeddah had recovery index rates of 88%, 85%, and 56%, respectively.
Outbound travel from the kingdom is expected to increase to 6,075,000 in 2022, up from a predicted 3,793,000 in 2021 and 4,839,000 in 2020, according to a Colliers International study.
Danielle Curtis, exhibition director, Middle East, Arabian Travel Market, said: “As was the case for markets the world over, the global pandemic had a major impact on Saudi Arabia’s hospitality sector.
Longer-term, outbound tourist journeys are predicted to increase to 9,262,000 in 2025, albeit this figure will still be much lower than the peak of 19,751,000 in 2019.