Saudi travellers seek diverse tourism offerings

Rijal Almaa, KSA

Saudi travellers are showing a strong appetite for the diverse range of tourism offerings within the country, leading to impressive gains for the domestic tourism sector, according to a report by Almosafer, Saudi Arabia’s leading travel company (part of Seera Group).

More than 40 per cent of the total booking share comes from the domestic sector, says the report, with 83 per cent of local travellers showing a preference for luxury accommodation options.

The average length of stay is two nights and the overall number of room nights for hotels have seen a 22 per cent year-on-year growth in 2023 compared to 2022.

The trends report has further highlighted that among the top growing destinations in the kingdom, AlUla is the preferred luxury option, Jazan and Tabuk are winter favourites and Abha is a popular destination for families to spend the summer break. Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Makkah and Madinah remain the most popular destinations in terms of room nights sold.

The booking behaviour of Saudi travellers across Almosafer’s consumer travel businesses also reveal that the average order value has increased by 10.8 per cent in 2023, even though close to 75 per cent of consumers are choosing low-cost carriers to reach their destinations within the kingdom.

This indicates that domestic travellers are spending more on in-destination expenses including accommodation, and activities, whilst saving on their journeys.

As the alternative accommodation segment grows in Saudi Arabia, the overall share of bookings for short-term rental serviced apartments witnessed a YoY rise of 48 per cent, compared to 2022.

The new domestic travel trends paper was released by Almosafer during the 2024 Saudi Tourism Forum and draws on data insights collated from across the company’s consumer platforms during 2023.

Almosafer is currently bridging the demand gap for competitive and flexible accommodation options through its strategic tie-ups with innovative digital platforms and alternative accommodation suppliers to meet the growing needs of diversified market segments in Saudi Arabia.

Muzzammil Ahussain, CEO, Almosafer, said: “Our latest data showcases the continued growth of domestic tourism in Saudi Arabia, reflecting the Kingdom’s rise as an attractive destination for local travellers who are increasingly showing a preference to explore the wealth of both natural and cultural landscapes and experience the growing range of unique entertainment and adventure-based activities.

“As Vision 2030 drives further growth in this sector, Almosafer will continue to expand our reach and optimise our offerings for domestic tourists, as we shape the future of travel experiences within the Kingdom.”

Saudi Arabia’s investments to boost the kingdom’s tourism infrastructure has resulted in a steady rise of domestic tourists keen on exploring the many attractions. Data from Almosafer’s platforms have highlighted a growing demand for activities and recreational pursuits among Saudi residents, primarily in the capital city of Riyadh and Jeddah, the kingdom’s second-largest city.