KSA market performance "consistently strong" for Hilton

Guest Writer

Hilton Worldwide is considering rolling out several of its brands in Saudi Arabia due to the “consistently strong” performance of the market, particularly from the religious, corporate and intra-regional leisure segments.”The industry here has not suffered any set-backs partly due to the non-seasonal aspect of KSA’s target base and partly due to the exponentially growing business travel segment, spurred on by the Kingdom’s infrastructural and business ambitions,” explained Hilton Worldwide Director of Development Middle East Carlos Khneisser.”The potential for further growth is huge as the Kingdom is on a major drive to promote its leisure and tourist segment as well. In addition to easing visa restrictions, it is also developing and promoting niche segments like cultural tourism, eco-tourism, adventure tourism etc with the aim of attracting a wider and more varied audience.”Hilton Worldwide’s opening pipeline in KSA includes Hilton Garden Inn Al Muroj (Q3, 2011), Doubletree by Hilton Al Khobar (Q4, 2012) and the Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residence (Q4, 2013). Khneisser said the Kingdom was “one of the strongest regions” for Hilton to introduce its entire spectrum of brands as the range of new market segments had given rise to demand for mid-market, budget, apartment suites, full-service and luxury hospitality brands. “The Kingdom’s oil-based economy also insures it against fluctuations from external markets and provides us with a stable market to grow in,” he added.Hilton has been present in KSA since1994 with the opening of Makkah Hilton & Towers - followed by Madinah Hilton, Jeddah Hilton, Qasr Al Sharq, a Waldorf Astoria Collection property, and most recently last year with Hilton Garden Inn Riyadh Olaya. “We recently signed a Management Agreement with the Granada Investment Centre established by General Organisation for Social Insurance (GOSI) for the first Hilton branded property in Riyadh - the 830-room Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residence scheduled to open in Q4 2013,” said Khneisser. “In addition, we have the Hilton Garden Inn Riyadh Al Muroj and the Doubletree by Hilton Al Khobar under development.”

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