The Elaf Group of Companies, a business
organisation serving the Saudi Arabian travel, tourism and hotel
industries, recently launched a major expansion initiative in the
Saudi hotel sector, driven by a significant surge in religious
tourism, which according to recent reports has achieved a
remarkable 30% growth in the first quarter of 2009.
Elaf has particularly prepared for the new Umrah
season that started in February 2009, noting a considerable growth
trend as around 3.5 million pilgrims are expected to visit the
Kingdom in the current Umrah season.
in Saudi generates around US$ 7 billion annually according to
recent reports, while the government has allocated a total of US$
38 billion in tourism infrastructure and transport systems,
including a high-speed railway system that will link Jeddah, Makka
and Madinah, three key travel destinations in the country.
Accordingly, to complement the religious tourism sector's robust
growth, Elaf has strengthened its presence in the three cities by
launching a string of five new hotels as part of a SR 1.25 billion
investment by Saudi Economic and Development Company (SEDCO) - of
which Elaf Group is a subsidiary - to develop various hospitality
and tourism projects in the Kingdom.
Deputy CEO, Elaf Group of Companies said, "Global travel has
become more affordable now with several special discounts,
promotional activities and highly competitive airline prices,
which have all contributed to the significant increase in the
number of Umrah pilgrims and the strong growth of the Saudi
tourist market. Accordingly, Elaf intends to cater to the new
requirements of the burgeoning religious tourism sector by
expanding our portfolio of hotel facilities in the key cities of
Jeddah, Makka and Madinah."
Arabia is expected to generate a total of SR 13 billion during the
current Umrah season, a key figure that will help strengthen the
country's status as one of the top tourist destinations and a leading
hotel markets in the Middle East.
Elaf is to launch two hotels each in Makkah and Jeddah
and one in Madinah with a combined capacity of 5,000 rooms within
the next three years. Makkah and Jeddah
registered a growth in revenue per available room (revPAR) of
32.7% and 30.3% respectively during the first quarter of 2009,
according to a recent quarterly report by Deloitte.
Elaf Group of
Companies is a fully integrated organisation providing a complete
line of hotel, travel, tourism, cargo, Hajj and Umrah services.
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