Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s [JCCI] tourism committee has estimated Saudi overseas tourism expenditure for the 2007 summer holidays at over 30 billion Saudi Riyals.
According to a Supreme Tourism Commission survey, domestic tourism spending reached over 27 billion Saudi Riyals in Mecca, this year, while JCCI’s figures show tourism spending in Jeddah in the last few years to be estimated at 12 billion Saudi Riyals.
With the Jeddah Summer Festival (JSF) expected to launch this week by Mecca Governor Prince Khaled al Faisal, early outlooks indicate that over 3 million tourists will flock to Jeddah this summer, bringing in an estimate of over 2 billion Saudi Riyals.
Mecca topped the list of Saudi domestic destinations hauling in 14,900 in domestic tourism trips, making up 49% of all national trips. According to the survey, furnished flats accounted for 40% of accommodation choices, followed by hotels at 28%. Saudi traditions still managed to prevail, however, with 25% of visitors opting to stay with relatives and friends.
The survey also showed that 70,000 hotel rooms are available, which constitute 75% of all available rooms nationwide. One third of furnished flats are also available. Bordering the Red Sea and the 600 kilometer long coral reef, the survey draws attention to the considerable tourism potential that Jeddah boasts. Among the activities that are available to tourists, diving is the fastest growing activity.
The Jeddah Summer Festival will also be hosting 4 concerts, say its organizers, to be held at the Jeddah International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Organizers say they were cautious to reintroduce live concerts to the festival. Ibrahim Badr, the executive director of the JCCI’s tourism committee and JSF’s secretary general, added that the concerts would garner momentum for the festival due to the popularity of the artists who are scheduled to perform.