Tourists set to flock to the Middle East
Tourists to the Middle East region are expected to increase dramatically over the coming nine years, according to a report by Amadeus, a transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry.
The company’s estimate, which is over double that which visited the region in 2008, will see 136 million visitors come to the area by 2020.
Speaking to news website, Al bawaba, Muhammad Ali Albakri, vice president of Information Technology at Saudi Arabian Airlines, said: “The Middle East is fast becoming a hub for travel with its vibrant, increasingly attractive destinations and significant investment in tourism and hotel projects.”
The anticipated increase is welcome news for the sector, after recent unrest in parts of the region.
Investors are already eyeing projects to capitalise on the growing numbers of visitors, especially in the mid range hotel market.
Rotana, which this month launched its third budget hotel in the UAE, plans to use its low-cost brand Centro, to tap into a growing demand for high-quality but modestly-priced rooms.
“There has not been enough supply of branded, three-star hotels in this region,” president and CEO of Rotana, Selim El Zyr, told Arabian Business.
“More people are travelling and looking for budget hotels,” he added.
The Abu Dhabi-based hotelier plans to open 25 mid-market hotels across the Middle East by 2015.