October 20, 2015 - The Elaf Group of Companies, a leading provider of travel, tourism and hospitality services, will launch its series of strategic marketing tours to select countries across continents in a bid to further boost Saudi Arabia’s growing tourism industry. During its stopovers in Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Indonesia, Tunis in Tunisia, and the United Kingdom starting October of this year, the Group is expected to unveil its new attractive packages for travelers planning to visit the Kingdom as well as highlight and promote popular local tourist attractions.
The upcoming tours will give special focus on tourism for religious purposes amid the continuous influx of worshippers to Saudi Arabia. According to experts, the number of religious tourists going to the Kingdom will go up from 17.5 million in 2014 to between 25 and 30 million in 20251. This has prompted the government to make heavy infrastructure investments to meet the expected demand growth, including the construction of the Makkah metro, the expansion of Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport in Madinah, and the development of more luxury hotels especially in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.
Ziyad Bin Mahfouz, Elaf Group President, Elaf Group, said: “The economic benefits of growing religious tourism are also immense. Local reports show its contribution to the non-oil sector of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product will increase from 5.4 per cent to 5.7 per cent by 20202. This significant share demonstrates that religious tourism plays a crucial role in Saudi Arabia’s steady economic development. As a key local industry player, we at Elaf Group have long recognized the socio-economic value of promoting and further developing the entire domestic tourism industry. It is within this view that we are launching our marketing tours, along with our new packages, to various countries this year. We are committed to furthering the industry as part of our objective of supporting government growth and development initiatives.”