Recent reports by Euromonitor International state that online travel sales to residents in Saudi Arabia showed a 40% growth in 2014 to reach SAR6.5 billion in 2015.
This figure is set to double to SAR13 bn by 2019. UAE continued to be the most popular destination in 2014 with Dubai attracting a heavy number of Saudis every year. Saudi Arabia leads the Middle East in terms of number of internet users – 8.5 million in 2014, and the Kingdom ranked first in 2014 for active Twitter users.
In terms of smartphone ownership, Saudi ranks third globally with a penetration rate of nearly 73%, and mobile sales for hotels experienced a 28% increase in 2014.
Ahmed Skaf, IT solution business manager at Samsung will speak at the Smart Hospitality Trends at the first-ever vision conference at The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2015. He said: “Visitors to Saudi Arabia are now expecting much more with regards to technology. Not just from initial booking process, but from what is available inside the hotel.”
He continued: “With increases in number of domestic and international visitors travelling to and within Saudi, we have seen 40% growth in number of hotels in the Kingdom adopting our smart TVs and other technologies as part of the Samsung Smart Hospitality Solution in the last three years. This smart technology, available in over 20 languages, provides a tailored experience suited to the culture and needs of international visitor and is now a key factor for hotels to consider in order to remain competitive in an increasingly saturated market.”