A whopping 90 per cent of Saudi Arabia's travel agencies are not making enough money and many are losing business, says a senior Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry official.
Raed H Habiss, vice chairman of the chamber's air transport committee, attributed the problem to either lack of services or stagnation, although the industry has grown from 15 to 20 offices in 1980 to around 2,000 travel and tourism offices today.
Of them, about 50 per cent are agents of Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAA), a report said.
Habiss said local and international air ticket sales by SAA and the approximately 50 international airlines operating in the Kingdom at between SR8 billion ($2.1 billion) to SR12 billion annually.
"The problem is that only 10 per cent of the local travel and tourism agencies organise travel packages and group tours. The others only sell tickets and deal with accommodation and tours on their own," he said.
"Tourism offices should start seriously working on establishing specialised tourism departments that can serve clients in a professional manner, instead of competing only in ticket sales which does not generate good profits."
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.