The Hajj is an annual journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia and is the world's largest mass gathering. All the physically and financially able grownup Muslims make Hajj at least once in their lifetime. Around two million Hajjis travel to Saudi Arabia during September to visit Islam's holiest places, Mecca and Medina. Earlier, Hajj was a simply a traditional ritual in the Islamic world, but in recent days it has become a tourism destination because of the facilities evolved over the last few years. The Hajj signifies main tourism prospect for both national and international stakeholders, mainly tour operators and hotel groups. The Saudi Arabia government is also supporting this holy gathering by investing in hotels and renovating ancient religious sights. To promote Hajj tourism globally a landmark hotel named as Abraj Kudai Hotel is in the pipeline – this hotel is anticipated to be the world's largest hotel with 10,000 rooms. Hajj is emerging as a perennial flow of religious tourists and is a primary source of revenue generation from international pilgrims from countries with a large Muslim population. Domestic pilgrims are also contributing to the revenue generation. Some of the international pilgrims come from countries such as India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Morocco, and Algeria among many other Muslim countries.
Hajj Tourism in Saudi Arabia: Drivers and Opportunities
Mainly, factors such as religious faith or established rituals to follow among spiritual Hajjis and the growth in per capita income are driving Hajj Tourism in Saudi Arabia by bringing Hajjis from all over the globe. The other drivers that trigger the demand for Hajji Tourism in Saudi Arabia are the comforts and facilities built for the devotees, ease in travel and accommodation. Besides, many historical monuments are renovated by the Saudi government which become add-on tourist spots and major attractions for the pilgrims.
Hajj Tourism in Saudi Arabia is an enormous opportunity for travel and hotel industry for future business prospects. Some opportunities listed are many domestic and international airlines including Qatar Airways, Qatar's Al Maha airlines that provide their services on domestic and international routes, and this will increase the competition. The rise in the volume of national and international Hajjis propell the demand for accommodation thereby boosting hotel rentals. Backpack concept in areas such as Riyadh, Jeddah and Medina is also coming up as a possible opportunity with a business and facility point at Hajj Tourism within the Saudi Arabia tourism industry.
Hajj Tourism in Saudi Arabia: Restraints
As Hajj is practiced from ancient time and is a tradition in Islamic region, persistence in the visit by devotees can be seen significantly, but some factors such as lack of facilities, chances of accidents, and lack of travelling provinces are slowing down the volume of pilgrims to an extent. Although the government and private sector have taken many initiatives to overcome the hindrances to some extent, certain restraints such as large rental car booking, shortage of rental vehicles, over occupancy of accommodation, serious crowding of the places and unorganised facilities hinder Hajj tourism in Saudi Arabia.
Hajj Tourism in Saudi Arabia: Options
As per the 2013 Saudi Tourism and Antiquities Committee (SCTA) count, there were around 160 tour agents in Saudi Arabia catering only to religious tours mainly Hajj tourism in Saudi Arabia. Some of the prominent Hajj tour operators who provide their services to tourists across the world include Flynn's Company LCC Accor KSA, Al Tala'a International Transportation Co. Limited, Fly Dubai Saudi Arabia, Al Tayyar Travel Group, Zamil Travel, Avis Saudi Arabia, Zahid Travel Group, Boudl Hotels & Resorts, Wyndham Hotel Group Saudi Arabia, Budget Rent a Car Saudi Arabia, InterContinental Hotels Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabian Airlines, EgyptAir Saudi Arabia, Saddik & Mohammed Attar Company, Elaf Group, Inc., SIXT-KSA, Emirates Airline Saudi Arabia, Kanoo Travel Saudi Arabia, and Europcar Saudi Arabia among many others.
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Hajj Tourism In Saudi Arabia
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