Saudi tourism spending grew 52% to $25.5bn in 2021

Saudi tourism spending grew 52% to $25.5bn in 2021
The numbers, however, paled compared to 2019 figures when the country bagged SR164.6 billion in overall tourism spending. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 07 August 2022

Saudi tourism spending grew 52% to $25.5bn in 2021

Saudi tourism spending grew 52% to $25.5bn in 2021
  • Holidays, shopping contributed 58.2 percent of domestic tourism, totaling SR47.1bn, data shows

CAIRO: Overall tourism spending in Saudi Arabia, including residents and foreigners, rose 52 percent in 2021 to SR95.6 billion ($25.5 billion) from SR63.4 billion the previous year, data published by the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, revealed.

The numbers, however, paled compared to 2019 figures when the country bagged SR164.6 billion in overall tourism spending.

According to SAMA, domestic tourism in the Kingdom, which includes residents traveling on holiday, soared 86.6 percent to SR80.9 billion ($21.6 billion) in 2021 from SR43.35 billion in 2020.

Holidays and shopping alone contributed 58.2 percent of domestic tourism, totaling SR47.1 billion.

Visits to relatives and friends followed at SR19.1 billion, holding 23.6 percent of domestic expenditure, whereas money spent on religious purposes came in third at SR8.8 billion, with a 10.9 percent share.

The average duration of stay by Saudi residents domestically stood at approximately six days, according to data compiled by Arab News. 

On the other hand, inbound tourism spending dropped to SR14.7 billion in 2021 from SR20.1 billion in 2020. Foreign tourism expenditure in the country peaked at SR103.4 billion in 2019 and decreased by 80.1 percent and 26.8 percent in the following years.

The average duration of nonresidents’ trips stood at 11 days. The religious inbound tourism sector saw the largest drop in volume; it fell by 83.9 percent from 2020, amounting to only SR1.7 billion in 2021.

According to data from SAMA, the volume of residents’ spending outside the Kingdom during touristic trips reached SR51.5 billion in 2021 after dropping to SR22 billion the earlier year.

This entailed a hefty 134.6 percent rise in outbound tourism compared to a 67.7 percent drop in 2020. Furthermore, residents spent around two weeks per trip when traveling abroad, data compiled by Arab News showed.

It is worth mentioning the Kingdom is determined to promote religious travel and retrieve pre-pandemic religious tourism levels.

“The number of pilgrims has shrunk significantly during the pandemic, but the government is targeting 30 million pilgrims by 2030, which some analysts have said is an ambitious figure,” stated Abbas Al-Lawati, a Gulf-based journalist, in a recent CNN publication.

“I think our record-high domestic travel was last year. And on general recovery of total travel, we outperformed the globe, we outperformed the region in terms of recovery — we reached 72 percent of pre-pandemic levels,” said Saudi Tourism Authority CEO Fahd Hamidaddin in an interview with Reuters.

Not only did the Kingdom see advancement in the tourism sector, but it also showed great efforts in implementing an authentic, sustainable development environment within that sector.

“AlUla, as an example, is remarkable. It recognizes that sustainability is not just about green and blue; it’s about cultural sustainability, social sustainability, environmental sustainability, and economic sustainability,” said Anita Mendiratta, special adviser to the UN World Tourism Organization’s secretary-general.

The sustainability-led progress that has been made in the Kingdom’s tourism sector could be used as a global case study, claimed Mendiratta in the 116th Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organization.


NADEC shares rise as it signs MoU with Leha Agriculture to produce potato seeds

NADEC shares rise as it signs MoU with Leha Agriculture to produce potato seeds
Updated 13 sec ago

NADEC shares rise as it signs MoU with Leha Agriculture to produce potato seeds

NADEC shares rise as it signs MoU with Leha Agriculture to produce potato seeds

RIYADH: National Agricultural Development Co. which signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Leha Agriculture to produce potato seeds in Saudi Arabia saw its share prices increase during the early trading hours.

NADEC’s share rose 1.96 percent to open Monday at SR26.05 ($7) as of 10:09 a.m. Saudi time.

The MoU, which will take effect on Oct. 1 and expire on April 30, 2023, outlines a general framework for joint cooperation between the two companies, including a desire to study joint investment in potato seed production, Nadec said in a bourse filing.

Both parties agree to combine their investment efforts and serve their mutual interests.

The parties further agreed to appoint independent financial, legal, and technical advisors if they so desire or if the official authorities so request.

The full financial value will be determined and announced after legal, financial, and commercial due diligence.

Leha Agriculture provides storage and cooling solutions for agricultural products in Saudi Arabia and specializes in cultivating and marketing potatoes and potato seeds.


TASI extends loss as oil prices drop below $85: Opening bell

TASI extends loss as oil prices drop below $85: Opening bell
Updated 17 min 42 sec ago

TASI extends loss as oil prices drop below $85: Opening bell

TASI extends loss as oil prices drop below $85: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index continues to decline in response to oil prices dropping below $85 for the first time since January and fears of a global recession due to aggressive interest rate rises.

The Tadawul All Share Index fell 0.45 percent to start Monday at 11,110, while the parallel market Nomu fell 0.11 percent at 19,853, as of 10:09 a.m. Saudi time.

Brent crude traded at $85.30 a barrel and WTI crude reached $77.96 a barrel, as of 10:06 a.m. Saudi time.

Saudi oil giant Aramco started with a 0.43 percent decline, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. added 0.3 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, decreased by 0.16 percent, while Saudi British Bank declined by 0.53 percent.

National Agricultural Development Co. gained 1.96 percent, following the signing of a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Leha Agricultural Co. to produce potato seeds in the Kingdom.

Retal Urban Development Co. gained 1.62 percent, after selling its share in a land located in Al Khobar city for SR67 million ($18 million) to Maali Holding Co.

Anaam International Holding Group gained 5.6 percent to lead the gainers, after reporting that it turned into profits of SR1.6 million during the first half of 2022.


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday
Updated 26 September 2022

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday

RIYADH: Saudi stocks started and ended sharply lower on Sunday, in response to the Saudi Central Bank raising interest rates in line with Fed's steep rate hike and forecast for further hikes to curb inflation.

The Tadawul All Share Index lost 2.61 percent to end the session at 11,161, while the parallel market slid 1.92 percent to finish at 19,875.

Kuwait’s index declined 2.5 percent, followed by Qatar's index declining 1.5 percent for a second session.

The index in Bahrain traded down 1.4 percent, while both Egypt’s blue-chip index and Oman index tumbled 0.3 percent.

Oil prices fell below $85 for the first time since January, Brent crude traded at $84.94 a barrel and WTI crude reached $77.70 a barrel, as of 9:20 a.m. Saudi time.

Stock News

Nadec has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Leha Agricultural Co. to produce potato seeds in the Kingdom.

Sure Global Technology Co. set its price guidance for a direct listing on Saudi Arabia’s parallel stock market at SR70 ($19) per share.

Retal Urban Development Co. sold its share in a land located in Al Khobar city for SR67.44 million to Maali Holding Co.


Saudi tech firm Sure Global sets price guidance at $19 for Nomu listing

Saudi tech firm Sure Global sets price guidance at $19 for Nomu listing
Updated 26 September 2022

Saudi tech firm Sure Global sets price guidance at $19 for Nomu listing

Saudi tech firm Sure Global sets price guidance at $19 for Nomu listing

RIYADH: Sure Global Technology Co. announced the publication of the registration document for a direct listing on the Nomu-Parallel Market, setting its price guidance for the listing at SR70 ($19) per share.

Sure International reached an agreement with its shareholders to allocate 1.284 million shares, representing 25 percent of its capital, to offer and sell in the market to natural or legal persons in order to meet liquidity requirements.

Sure received approval from the Capital Market Authority on June 30 for its registration to trade on Nomu-Parallel Market.

Established in 2006, Sure International Technology offers a wide range of services, including wholesale and retail sales of computers and accessories, printers and inks, systems analysis, software design and programming, and senior management consulting.

 


Oil Updates — Crude slipped below $85; Ecopetrol selling more Colombian oil to Europe

Oil Updates — Crude slipped below $85; Ecopetrol selling more Colombian oil to Europe
Updated 26 September 2022

Oil Updates — Crude slipped below $85; Ecopetrol selling more Colombian oil to Europe

Oil Updates — Crude slipped below $85; Ecopetrol selling more Colombian oil to Europe

RIYADH: Brent crude slipped below $85 for the first time since January on fears of lower fuel demand from an expected global recession sparked by rising worldwide interest rates and as a surging US dollar limits the ability of non-dollar consumers to purchase crude.

Brent crude is priced at $84.85 a barrel at 09.30 a.m Saudi time, while the US West Texas Intermediate Crude fell to $77.61. 

Ecopetrol selling more Colombian oil to Europe 

Colombian state energy company Ecopetrol is selling more of its oil production to Europe, replacing Russian supplies, while it sees growing competition for market share in Asia.

About 40-50 percent of Ecopetrol’s crude production is exported to Asia this year compared with 60 percent last year, Ecopetrol’s CEO Felipe Bayon told Reuters on the sidelines of the 38th Annual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore.

Bayon said there is growing competition with Russian, Mexican, Canadian Heavy and Venezuelan crude in Asia.

Vitol expects Russian oil to flow to Asia and Mideast

Russian oil is expected to come to Asia and the Middle East, while refined fuel produced in these regions will flow to the West as the global oil trade is disrupted by sanctions, Vitol’s CEO Russell Hardy said on Monday.

The Russia-Ukraine war has made energy security the top issue for governments as they grapple with inflation. With bans on Russian oil looming and Moscow slashing gas supplies to Europe, policymakers are setting aside sustainability concerns for now.

“Energy security is number one. Price is number two. Sustainability is number three,” Hardy said of key priorities in the short term.

More than a million barrels per day of US crude is expected to go to Europe to fill the gap in Russian supplies, he told a forum at the APPEC conference, adding that Russian commodities would need to find a home in places outside the UK, US and EU. 

“It’s going to go further and longer distances and find different markets, and in doing that it’s going to have to trade at a discount,” Hardy said.

“You’re beginning to see that with fuel coming East that would otherwise have stayed in Europe, and fuel in the East going to the West to cover the shortfall.”

(With input from Reuters)