RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s hotel sector is witnessing a significant resurgence, with room occupancy in Makkah reaching 80 percent during the holy month of Ramadan this year, the highest level in the last three years.
This resulted in room rates also climbing to record levels due to high demand, especially during the last 10 days of the season, according to the chairman of the Hajj and Umrah Committee of the Makkah Chamber, Abdullah Al-Qadi.
Al-Qadi noted that hotel rates, particularly in Makkah, are determined by certain factors, including supply and demand, proximity to the Grand Mosque, room views and amenities.
He also added that the hotel rates are similar to the prices of the airline tickets, especially those in the central region, where prices increase gradually as the season approaches.
Al-Qadi revealed that the Ministry of Tourism worked with investors in Makkah with total transparency and clarity to restore the hotel sector’s recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that several remote meetings were held to address various issues faced by the investors – something that helped the sector achieve a speedy recovery.
According to a survey conducted by the Saudi newspaper Al-Eqtisadiah on hotel room prices in Makkah’s central district during the last ten years, the rates soared between SR3,000 ($800) and SR9,000 per room per day.
This year’s Ramadan season also saw a large turnout, particularly with the opening of visas and the facilities offered by the Kingdom to pilgrims from abroad.
According to the Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Saudi Arabia initiated 10 new policies in December to expand the tourism sector and protect tourists, describing the new laws as “a promising step toward a prosperous tourism future” in a tweet.
According to a Saudi Press Agency report, the Kingdom’s hotel, restaurant, transportation, food and commercial sectors have benefited from the surge of Umrah pilgrims, as ready-made clothes, gifts and Zamzam water topped the list of the most demanded goods among pilgrims.
Al-Khateeb also announced in November last year that the Kingdom is offering investment opportunities worth $6 trillion in the travel and tourism sector through 2030.