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Saudi's Outbound Travel Expenditure Exceeds US$5.9 billion in 2008

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While the most popular traditional destinations for outbound Saudi nationals currently includes London and the USA, there has however been a recent surge in interest in nearby destinations such as Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Oman, Syria and the UAE.

 Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore have also emerged as top Asian destinations for outbound Saudi tourists; Singapore has been particularly important as Saudi has become a top tourism market for the city-state following a 23% increase in visitor arrivals from the Kingdom in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, according to figures released by the Singapore Tourism Board.

To address this demand, the Elaf Group of Companies, a business organisation serving the Saudi Arabian travel, tourism and hotel industries, has opened a new call centre in Jeddah and has launched special corporate packages for exhibition organisers and exhibitors from the KSA, as part of a strategy to capitalise on the robust growth in Saudi's outbound tourism market.

 According to statistics from the Saudi Tourism Information and Research Centre (MAS), the Kingdom accounted for over US$ 5.9 billion in outbound tourism expenditure from around 4 million Saudi tourists in 2008, underlining the significant importance of the tourism sector in the Kingdom's economic growth.

Majed Saud Kaki, Assistant General Manager, Elaf Group of Companies, said, "The significant reduction in travel costs has further boosted outbound travel in the Kingdom as an increasing number of residents are now exploring new destinations to visit. Elaf has provided the infrastructure to support the growing interest for outbound travel through a new call centre that makes it easier and a lot more convenient for outbound tourists to plan their travel itinerary."

"Furthermore, we also cater to the travel needs of the corporate sector as we have introduced services that help companies organise their annual meetings or facilitate their participation in important conferences, exhibitions and other trade events in key business destinations all over the world," added Kaki.

The Elaf call centre can accommodate up to 400 calls on any given day. Elaf has also created group packages for companies that wish to take their employees abroad for annual workshops or meetings, and for participation in various MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) events in destinations such as Dubai, Paris, Turkey, Lebanon, London and Egypt, among others.

See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Aviation, Flights, First Class, Business Class, GDS, Miles, Hotels, Promotions, New Hotels, Elaf, Visitor Arrivals, Cruises, Free Deals, Saudi Arabia, Performance, May 2009

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