Data provided by MAS forecasts that there will be a 43% increase in the number of inbound tourist arrivals to Saudi Arabia by 2020, Deloitte has revealed at the Vision Conference in Jeddah.

According to the figures from MAS (Tourism Research & Information Centre), the number of international trips made to Saudi Arabia is estimated to increase from 18 million in 2015 to 25.8 million in 2020.

Grant Salter, Head of Travel, Hospitality and Leisure Advisory – Middle East at Deloitte presented the forecasts as part of a talk on “Market performance, trends and projects in Saudi Arabia” at the 2ndannual Vision Conference, Saudi Arabia set to conclude today (19th May 2016; 4-10pm).

Speaking at the conference, Salter said: “The Kingdom already sees strong tourism figures and hotel occupancy rates have historically been relatively high. There are more than 49,000 new hotel rooms under construction or in final planning across the country to meet the demands of this significant increase in tourists. These figures were prepared before the government’s Vision 2030 announcement in which tourism is planned to play a more meaningful role in the Saudi economy. We believe that with this vision, and improvements to the hospitality and leisure offering throughout the Kingdom – there is a good chance that the projected increases will be met, if not exceeded.”

The Vision Conference takes place alongside the 4th annual Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, where expert speakers from Hilton Worldwide, King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), One to One Hotels and Resorts, Iconsulthotels, Figjam, HOCHTIEF ViCon, Resnet World, RoomNetTV and others have been sharing insight into the latest hospitality industry trends impacting the Kingdom.

Ismail AlKamal, Director at major Saudi-based developer AlKamal International presented “Lean startup methodology and how it relates to hospitality projects”.

AlKamal revealed secrets behind some of the developers’ most impressive projects. A particularly impressive feat demonstrated; whilst working on major refurbishment works to the Hilton in Makkah, the team managed to carry out works on two new restaurants and three 30-storey elevators whilst the hotel was at 100% occupancy.

“None of the guests or the hotel staff were aware that our team was at work,” said AlKamal. “To minimise delays and increase productivity, our company has experimented with a number of project management methodologies.”

Tonight from 4-10pm the final Vision Conference sessions based on the latest ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Design’ trends for hotels will take place at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events including presentations from Saudi Green Building Council (SGBC); LG Electronics; Ramada Hotels; HOK; Provectus; ABB Saudi Arabia; Zumtobel Group.

Written by talkabouthospitalitycom

Senior PR Manager, dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa hospitality portfolio

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