sees Saudi rapidly tourism sector as launch pad

Geet Bhalla

DUBAI — Integrated travel services provider is consolidating its presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as its next growth market following the Arab nation’s rapidly growing tourism sector, which has primarily been driven by rising tourist numbers in the last few years.

Holidayme, which began its operation in the Middle East in 2014, plans to shore up its popularity and product offering uptake in KSA in a bid to cater to the growing need of the market by offering a comprehensive travel booking solution. The Saudi office is headed by Mansour Bin Madi, CEO, Holidayme KSA, who will be overlooking operations for the Saudi region.

Now only present in the United Arab Emirates and KSA, the multi-lingual travel portal is now working towards aligning its KSA operations with the government-led tourism investments and initiatives, which are part of the country’s vision 2030 - a framework outlining the Saudi’s long-term economic and social goals.

KSA, which has recently experienced a surge in domestic vacations, is expected to grow its domestic tourism by a record 40 percent by the year 2020, according to a Euromonitor International Tourism Forecast report. Currently valued at US$21 billion, the KSA tourism industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the region.

Holidayme founder and Chief Executive Officer, Geet Bhalla said that the travel portal, which is one of the fastest growing online travel agencies in the region, plans to tap into KSA’s record levels of domestic travel as its key growth driver for the region.

“As Saudi continues to invest generously in its local and international tourism, is also positioning itself strategically to support the various initiatives initiated by the country through the provision of reliable and convenient travel products and services for the growing tourism numbers,” said Geet.

Mansour Bin Madi, CEO, Holidayme KSA, said “as we seek to strengthen our operations in Saudi, will continue playing its role in ensuring that the KSA tourism sector continues to thrive by providing both local and international tourists with an opportunity to discover iconic travel destinations through uniquely curated holiday packages.”

The KSA tourism industry is one of the key sectors identified to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product in the wake of the oil glut and weakening global demand.

The Kingdom’s religious tourism, which is valued at over $5 billion with 19 million pilgrims having visited Makkah and Madinah in 2015 and further expected to reach 30 million by 2025 is one area that has been instrumental in boosting KSA’s overall tourism sector with Makka emerging as the main tourist attraction in the region. — SG