The direct contribution of travel & tourism to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s GDP is forecast to increase by 3.1 percent to SR49.6 billion in 2012, from SR48.1 billion (2.3 percent of GDP) last year.

The direct contribution of travel & tourism to GDP is expected to grow by 4.2 percent per annum to SR74.6 billion (2.2 percent of GDP) by 2022.

This primarily reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services (excluding commuter services), the report added. It also includes the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists.

Against this backdrop, Red Sea Mall, a plush shopping mall with a built gross leasable area (GLA) of some 110,000 square meters located in the northern suburb of Jeddah, was adjudged as one of the top five winners at the recently held “Saudi Excellence in Tourism Awards”.

The award was conferred on Red Sea Mall in a ceremony held in Riyadh in conjunction with the Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market (STTIM-2012).

Abdullah Al Jehani, Vice President of SCTA for Tourism, said: “This award aims at spreading spirit of honest competition among different relevant sectors engaged in tourism services in the Kingdom, as well as shedding a light on stages of continual progress in the Saudi tourism industry, which is in an increased development day by day. Besides, the award is considered as an annual recognition of the efforts of the excellent performance of the sectors in this area around the year.”

A total of nearly 100,000 votes were cast in this year’s Awards supported by Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities.

Across the 22 sub-categories, there were more than 600 nominations with the most hotly contested category being Best 5-Star Hotel which garnered 15 percent of total votes.

The Red Sea Mall, which prides on having 18 entrances and 4,000 parking space, took home the honor and glory, outsmarting some 30 other mall contenders.

On behalf of Red Sea Mall, its CEO, Mohammed Alawi, expressed his profound gratitude to all those who voted online, as well as to all Red Sea Mall customers, businessmen and visitors for their trust and support.

“I thank Eimar Arabia Real Estate Development Co. Ltd. Company represented by Aiydrous Al Bar and Khaled Bin Mahfouz and its team, and Red Sea Mall represented by Artin Malatjalian, General Manager at Eimar Arabia, and Mohammed Al Asiri, Red Sea Mall Marketing Manager, Sedco Group at Eimar Arabia for their zeal and commitment in making Red Sea Mall a byword of a modern shopping experience,” Alawi said.

He added that the award stiffens the resolve of Red Sea Mall to further fortify its role in improving the Saudi tourism sector.

The direct contribution of travel & tourism to GDP reflects the ‘internal’ spending on travel & tourism (total spending within a particular country on travel & tourism by residents and non-residents for business and leisure purposes) as well as government ‘individual’ spending – spending by government on travel & tourism services directly linked to visitors, such as cultural (e.g. museums) or recreational (e.g. national parks).

The direct contribution of travel & tourism to GDP is calculated to be consistent with the output, as expressed in national accounting, of tourism – characteristic sectors such as hotels, airlines, airports, travel agents and leisure and recreation services that deal directly with tourists.
Source: The Saudi Gazette