(MENAFN - Arab News) Tourism festivals and events held in the summer of 2012 across the Kingdom earned revenues exceeding SR 10.8 billion. The events were attended by more than 10.6 million visitors including 4.2 million tourists.
The Tourist Information and Research Center (MAS), the statistical arm of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, released the new figures yesterday.
The MAS report was based on field surveys conducted by the center on over 20 festivals and events held in Riyadh, Abha, Jeddah, Taif, Dammam, Baha, Al-Ahsa, Hail, Madinah, Buraidah, Unaizah, Namas, Sakaka, Najran and Umlaj.
"The majority of visitors to these festivals were families, but there was an increasing number of visitors who were either singles or coming with friends, as was the case with visitors to Al-Jouf Hulwah, Tebah Summer and Hail Summer, in addition to the Dammam and Jeddah Summer Festivals," the report said.
The report pointed out that the majority of visitors to the Abha Festival, Jeddah Summer, Taif Ahlah, Baha Summer, Tebah Summer, Unaizah Festival, Namas and Umlaj Festivals came for the purpose of recreation and tourism while most of the visitors to Riyadh Summer, the Al-Ahsa Shopping and Entertainment Festival, Hail Summer, Buraidah Summer, the Al-Jouf Hulwah and Najran Summer had a different purpose, namely visiting families and friends. Friends and relatives were the major source of information about the summer festivals followed by families, signboards and newspapers.
The report pointed out that the length of stay of visitors to festivals ranged between four and nine nights. Their expenses were mainly incurred on accommodation, transportation, food and entertainment, it added.
"Shopping accounted for 35 percent of the visitors' expenditure during summer festivals," MAS pointed out.
The report said the majority of visitors to Abha, Taif, Al Baha, Madinah, Namas, Al-Jouf, Najran and Umlaj stayed in furnished residential units, while most of the visitors to Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Ahsa, Hail, Buraidah and Unaizah were hosted by their relatives or friends.