Domestic tourism is fuelling Radisson's Saudi Arabia market

HotelierMiddleEast.com |

Radisson's Saudi market is being fuelled by the domestic market, according to Elie Milky, vice president development, Middle East & Africa at Radisson Hotel Group, who recently revealed in an interview with Hotelier Middle Eastthat that 70% of its guests in Saudi Arabia are from the domestic market.

Milky has said in an interview that he believes that the appetite for domestic tourism in Saudi Arabia is due to the large amount of cities in the country, including both secondary and major ones, and a growing population.

He went on to say how the hotel group has identified 10 to 12 secondary cities as a potential source market and where the hotel group wants to be present. The cities, among others, include Jizan, Najran, Jbail, Khafji, Qurayyat, Abha, Khamis Mushait, Buraydeh and Unaizah.

"The domestic market is not that developed yet because there are not enough places [hotels] for people to stay in," Milky said.

He went on to explain how the Radisson Blu Jizan, a secondary port city in the southwest corner of Saudi Arabia, is fully booked at very high average rates at the weekends. "The question is where those people went before the hotel was open in Jizan. They didn't [go anywhere] because there was nowhere to stay," he says. "The more hotels that open, the more we will stimulate domestic tourism across the country."

Radisson has had a footprint in Saudi Arabia since 2002. This month [] sees the opening of the group's second hotel in Riyadh, the Radisson Blu Diplomatic Quarter, owned by the The King Salman Center for Disability Research.

Find out more about this story in the April issue of Hotelier Middle East.

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