A recent study released a statistical report by the Tourism Information and Research Center (MAS), which has unveiled that the Saudi domestic tourism in 2011 reported over SR 84.5 billion in expenditures with an increase of 13.5 percent compared to 2010.
Disclosing the major indicators of the national tourism in the Kingdom in 2011, the report further stated that, the numbers of domestic visitors to the different provinces of the Kingdom have reached 23.963 million, and during their visits they spent SR35.548 billion in 2011 compared with 23.912 million visitors in 2010 who spent SR31.324 billion with an increase of 13.5 percent.
The report also stated that the numbers of tourist trips during last year were 22.5 million, with a total of tourist nights reaching 109.761 million compared with 22.8 million tourist trips with a total of tourist nights 116.982 million in 2010.
Regarding tourist festivals, the report stated that the statistics have covered 33 festivals in 2011, in which the number of visitors reached 10.335 million who spent SR5.495 billion, compared with 32 festivals in 2010 visited by 9.895 million visitors who spent SRSR 6.791 billion.
The report referred to an increase in growth rate in the hotel sector, which reached 63 percent in 2011, compared with 59.2 percent in 2010 reporting an increase of 3.8 percent. While the rate of bed occupancy last year was 62.1 percent compared with 52.5 percent in the year previous to it, with an increase estimated at 9.6 percent.
On the other hand, rates of occupancy in furnished apartments in 2011 were 68.3 percent with an increase of 14.1 percent compared with 2010 where it had reached 54.2 percent. The rate of bed occupancy in apartments in 2011 was 57.1 percent with an increase of 12.9 percent compared with 44.2 percent in 2010.
The report predicted total of jobs in tourism sector in 2011, to reach 670,028 compared with 629,310 jobs in the past year with an increase of 6.5 percent.
Also it predicted the number of jobs occupied by Saudis in the sector to reach 176,703 in 2011, compared with 128,605 in 2010 with an increase of 37.4 percent, indicating that, rate of tourism jobs in terms of total of employees in the Kingdom have reached 8 percent during 2011 compared with 7.9 percent in 2010.
As for contribution of tourism in the gross domestic product (GDP), the reported unveiled that the rate of contribution of tourism to GDP was 3.1 percent during 2011, while the rate of contribution of tourism in non-crude oil GDP was 7.2 percent.
The report predicted the value-added services of accommodation sector will reach SR 13.5 billion in 2011, with an increase of 7.1 percent from 2010. While value-added food services reached SR 26.8 billion in 2011 compared with SR 25.2 billion in 2010 with an increase of 6.3 percent.
On the entertainment services, the report predicted the value-added service to reach SR 5.2 billion in 2011 compared with SR 4.9 billion in 2010 with an increase of 6.1 percent, while it predicted same to reach SR 19 billion in 2011 compared with SR 17.8 billion in 2010 with an increase of 6.7 percent.
In contrast, the number of tourist facilities has a slight decline estimated with 2.5 percent where numbers of facilities have reached 43,273 in 2011 compared with 44,375 in 2010. The reported decline attributes to the number of accredited accommodation facilities by SCTA.
The number of licensed hotels is 951, and that includes 157,430 rooms last year compared with 1,186 hotels, which included 105,424 rooms in 2010. Hotels license renewal is carried out periodically.
The total number of furnished apartments reached 2,026 that included 85,687 flats last year compared with 4,600 units with 104,614 flats the year before.