Foreigners coming to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage this year are expected to spend more than SR25 billion, 25 percent more than last year.
Some of the reasons for the increase are:
Increase in the number of pilgrims,
The rising costs of accommodation,
Increase in the prices of air tickets,
Increase in the prices of foods and beverages.
Another reason might be the rule that not allowing people above 60, children under 12, and pregnant women to enter country to prevent the spread of the swine flu last year.
The number of Umrah pilgrims this year increased by about half a million over the previous year reaching close to four million. It is expected that the number of Umrah pilgrims to reach five million a year in the next five years.