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Report: Religious tourism to bring 15 million visitors to Saudi Arabia

The religious tourism sector in Saudi Arabia, which generated more than $7 billion in 2009 and registered 12 million visitors to pilgrimage sites, will attract 15 million visitors in 2013, said a repo

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The religious tourism sector in Saudi Arabia, which generated more than $7 billion in 2009 and registered 12 million visitors to pilgrimage sites, will attract 15 million visitors in 2013, said a report.

The kingdom is investing heavily into the religious tourism industry, added the report by Alpen Capital on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) hospitality industry.

In line with this, the Mövenpick Hotel & Residence Hajar Tower Makkah who has witnessed significant growth in the one year of operation, said its general manager.

“Saudi Arabia has chalked out a development plan involving investment of almost Dh98 billion ($26.68 billion) to transform Makkah into a city with world-class infrastructure,” said Omar Boujlid.

“With the large-scale tourism development underway, the Mövenpick Hotel & Residence Hajar Tower Makkah is well-equipped to cater to the growing number of pilgrims to the city. This year, we also plan is to implement marketing initiatives to further increase awareness in untapped markets in the African continent across Tunisia and Algeria.”

The 41-storey 1,200 room hotel is showcasing its offerings at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2011, which opened yesterday (May 2) in Dubai, and will conclude on May 5.

“ATM is an ideal platform to showcase our offerings to industry participants. Our objective is to raise the standards of service excellence with our room offerings, food and beverage outlets and 32 different staff nationalities that to cater to varied groups of pilgrims,” Boujlid concluded.

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