Flights to Saudi Capital Double as 66-day Riyadh Season Proves a Major Boon to Kingdom’s New Tourism Drive

Flight bookings for travel to Riyadh from October 2019 to January 2020 more than doubled compared to the same period in the previous year, Arabian Business reports, citing data from the Seera Group, a Saudi-based travel and tourism company.

The 66-day Riyadh Season, the biggest of 11 events planned as part of the Saudi Seasons initiative, saw over 100 cultural and entertainment events and experiences in Riyadh, with 11 million total visitors.

Demand for one to three-star hotels in Riyadh increased by 240 percent, Seera travel group said.

Demand for one to three-star hotels in Riyadh increased by 240 percent, Seera travel group said.

During the festival, flights booked into Riyadh increased by 107 percent year-on-year with the domestic and inbound air travel bookings surging by 106 percent while international flights registered a 110 percent growth, according to the Seera group. 71 percent of the bookings were visitors from Saudi Arabia.

Developing and growing a tourism industry is a major part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic and social reform plans.

Saudi Arabia issued 350,000 tourist visas in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the chairman of the Board of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Ahmed Al-Khatib.