Growing Saudi tourism to boost F&B demand by 7%

Increase of 2.8m visitors since 2010 positively impacted F&B demand
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Close to 4 million pilgrims visited Saudi this year for the annual hajj. Photo: Getty.
Close to 4 million pilgrims visited Saudi this year for the annual hajj. Photo: Getty.

An increase in the number of visitors to Saudi Arabia in the next two years is expected to boost F&B growth by 7% a recent study has revealed.

According to the 2012 Economic Impact Report Saudi Arabia published by the World Travel & Tourism Council, the total contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the country’s GDP in 2011 was US$43 billion, which equals 5.4%, with a forecasted growth of 3.7% in 2012 to US$44.6 billion.

The latest figures released by Business Monitor International (BMI) predict the number of visitors to KSA will increase to 15.8 million by 2014; approximately 2.8 million more than in 2010, which in turn has translated into a steady increase in demand within all hospitality related sectors, including F&B.

The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2012 will take place at Jeddah Center for Forums and Events between November 17-19 2012, and will centre around F&B.

“Food and beverage products are at the heart of the hospitality industry. With the developing potential for both the hospitality and food & beverage markets in Saudi, we feel that this is the most opportune moment to bring a broad range of local and international products from these sectors to The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia,” said Tim Wilson, Event Manager, DMG events.
The Alpen Capital GCC Food Sector Report 2011 recognised that external investments in the food processing sector have ascended significantly, with strong multinational food and beverage companies ready to conquer the Kingdom’s market and, given the significant growth potential, also setting up food processing plants in Saudi Arabia.

Even though Saudi Arabia is a strong regional player food production, over US$5 billion worth of food and beverage products are currently imported every year to the Kingdom. According to the Middle East Foods Report 2012, Saudi Arabia imports approximately 63% of the entire Middle East’s food and beverage imports.

“The exhibition is not only an effective way for local companies to showcase their products and to open the doors to a wider international audience but also for exhibitors from abroad to network and introduce themselves to the Saudi and the GCC market,” added Wilson.

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