Seera Group CEO says to launch a destination management company and build the mid-market hospitality sector
Saudi-based travel giant Seera Group, has announced an investment of over SR1 billion ($270 million) in tourism for the kingdom covering promotion, distribution, infrastructure and Saudi human capital development.
Announced by Abdullah Al-Dawood, group CEO, the investment is part of Saudi Arabia's new tourism transformation which includes the announcement of a visa framework to attract foreign visitors.
“Our investment highlights our commitment to build the tourism value chain of the kingdom, as Saudi Arabia enters a new era of growth. In this transformation of the tourism sector, the private sector will play a key role in enabling global visitors to experience the rich and diverse cultural heritage and modern attractions of the kingdom,” he said.
“The Saudi Tourism Strategy outlines a clear and concerted focus to boost both domestic tourism as well as international inbound travellers – and it is important that the private sector rally all efforts to deliver on the goals,” he added.
Seera Group has announced three broad pillars as part of the new investment - to launch a destination management company, build the mid-market hospitality sector, and focus on human capital development by training Saudi youth for careers in the tourism industry.
Seera Group said it is investing SR500 million in destination management services, which will develop necessary assets such as desert camps, city bus tours, unique guided tours and other tourism experiences.
The Group will also develop unique itineraries in collaboration with Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) to meet both domestic tourism and international inbound customer demand.
To drive the development of the mid-market segment, Seera Group has already established a partnership with Choice Hotels to manage and operate medium-sized hotels, and is currently developing seven hotels in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Taif. The goal is to develop and operate 6,000 room keys by 2022, with Seera already investing over SR500 million.
“One of the significant global trends in tourism is the rise of the millennial travellers, who are not only value-conscious but also aspire culturally relevant, tech-driven hospitality environments. Our immediate priority is to establish a network of mid-market hotels,” said Al-Dawood.
Seera Group is also focused on human capital development by strengthening the skillsets of Saudi youth for careers in the tourism sector.
“Investing in our youth is an important building block for our industry and we have launched several initiatives that will help identify, nurture, hire and build a dynamic Saudi workforce who will contribute to the kingdom’s tourism sector growth,” he added.