Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Saudi travellers continue to exhibit a keen desire for travel as evidenced by the steady growth in demand for domestic and international travel, finds a new report by Almosafer, Saudi Arabia’s leading travel company. The findings, revealed at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), throw light on the current travel trends of Saudi travellers both domestically and internationally, with insights into their booking habits and travel preferences, based on proprietary booking data from Almosafer’s consumer travel platforms across the first four months of 2024.

 In terms of international destinations, Dubai, Doha, Manama, Cairo, and Istanbul remain the top favourites among Saudi travellers. At the same time, there has been a significant shift of focus towards South Asia and the Far East with Tokyo, Singapore, and Bangkok increasingly seeing more footfall from Saudi travellers. European capitals including Madrid and Amsterdam are also emerging as trending destinations for bookings made in the first four months of 2024.

The top destinations drawing Saudi travellers domestically continue to be Makkah, Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar and Abha. New hotspots like AlUla, Tabuk, and Hail are among the trending destinations this year.

As Saudi travellers continue to explore their country for leisure, 53% of total bookings made across Almosafer’s booking channels were recorded for the domestic segment, showcasing a continued demand for travel within the country. The sustained interest in domestic tourism showcases the success of government and private sector initiatives to boost local tourism, resulting in a 29% increase in total domestic booking volume across Almosafer channels. Flights alone saw a 27% increase while hotel bookings showcased nearly double at 40%, demonstrating robust domestic growth.

Saudi travellers utilize the convenience of online booking channels with 91% of total bookings placed on Almosafer web, app, or mobile web products. However, for more complex itineraries or personal travel advisory, travellers opt for retail channels, with 9% off all bookings recorded across retail branches, call centers and WhatsApp. WhatsApp continues to rise as a vital booking channel with 12% of retail bookings coming through the instant messaging app. Overall WhatsApp bookings witnessed a 14% growth in volume in 2024.

While Apple Pay continues to rise in popularity as a payment method (41% of all bookings in 2024 versus 36% in 2023), BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) is gaining traction amongst Saudi travellers, as the convenient payment method is expanding the pool of eligible travellers by making travel more affordable for new customer segments.

With Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector booming, travellers are keen to make the most of their breaks as they focus on in-destination experiences. The addition of more flight routes, an increase in capacity, and the opening of new airports in the Kingdom has led to more affordable flight options on low-cost carriers (LCC), and while Saudi travellers are willing to spend on luxury stays (51% of hotel bookings are for 5* properties) and experiences, they are taking advantage of budget-friendly flight options.

Data showcases an overall jump from 55% in 2023 to 62% among travellers opting to fly low-cost this year. Internationally this year 46% of total bookings were done for low-cost carriers compared to 44% in 2023. Domestically, LCC bookings have seen a jump from 68% in 2023 to 72% in the total share of bookings in 2024.

For accommodation bookings, Saudi travellers depend on peer-to-peer recommendations which are gathering momentum, as 48% of travellers who book online browse and interact with the reviews from peers about the hotels, to ensure the property they are booking offers value for money.

Almosafer’s data simultaneously reveals a rising interest from Saudi travellers for Apartment rentals and Aparthotels, as these accommodation options offer a convenient alternative to hotels, especially for destinations with lower hotel availability, or for a flexible, convenient, and oftentimes more affordable stay.

Aparthotels alone have shown an impressive 73% growth in booking volume for international stays and an 84% increase in the domestic segment. Key destinations in KSA are seeing tremendous growth in alternative accommodation bookings such as Riyadh (+31%), Jeddah (+134%) and Al Khobar (+43%), while internationally, Dubai (+43%), Manama (60%) and Doha (+29%) are seeing significant growth.

Saudi travellers are taking advantage of the increased offering for local activities. Concert tickets, Riyadh season passes, access to attractions, and culturally-focused events are among the top activities in demand, with the average booking window for these being as short as 3.5 days.  Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, and Dammam are the top cities within Saudi Arabia for leisure activities, while international travellers are booking activities in Dubai, Bangkok, Phuket, and Abu Dhabi.

Muzzammil Ahussain, Chief Executive Officer of Almosafer, said: “Almosafer’s travel trend report showcases a vibrant domestic and international tourism sector, while Saudi travellers continue to explore their own country and destinations further afield. Our customers are finding more ways to get value from their trip, with convenience being a key factor in their travel decision-making. With affordable flight options, new accommodation offerings and flexible payment options, there is nothing holding travellers back from going on trips and making lifetime memories.”

View the full report HERE.


Report based on proprietary booking data from Almosafer’s Consumer Travel Business across omnichannel touchpoints. Comparisons are based on bookings placed between January 1 – April 20 in 2024 vs. January 1 – April 20, 2023.

About Almosafer (part of Seera Group)

Saudi Arabia’s Leading Travel Company

Elevating the journey for travellers from, to & within Saudi Arabia, the region & beyond,

while harnessing Seera Group’s 40+ years of expertise, Almosafer supports Saudi Arabia’s vision as a national champion for tourism.

Through its portfolio of businesses, Almosafer caters to every vertical across the travel & tourism ecosystem. A holistic travel platform built on the foundation of data, technology, and scalability, we serve all travel sectors from consumer to corporate & government, while enabling inbound tourism for leisure and religious travel.

  • Almosafer elevates travel experiences through multiple businesses operating under the Almosafer umbrella:
  • Almosafer, the Middle East’s leading travel brand, offers consumers seamless user experiences for domestic and international travel bookings through its omni-channel offerings. As a dedicated service solution, Almosafer Concierge addresses the needs of VIP and high-end clients through bespoke services.
  • Almosafer Business caters to corporate & government entities with travel management solutions
  • Almosafer Activities, the first-ever holistic tours and activities marketplace for the Saudi market, offering things to do across the Kingdom for travellers from Saudi Arabia and beyond.
  • Discover Saudi is the Kingdom’s leading Destination Management Company, specializing in inbound travel, tour operations, MICE services and online distribution.
  • Mawasim is a Hajj & Umrah tour operator, offering high-quality end-to-end travel arrangements and simplified sourcing for external agents in key international source markets.

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