FRHI benefits from US$16bn Hajj & Umrah pilgrimage

April 29, 2013 by admin
Mr Khaled Yamak

Mr Khaled Yamak

Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI) – the parent group for luxury brands Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel – reports a prolific business year for its three Makkah properties in 2012, with continued growth in 2013.

According to Khaled Yamak, group director of communications & business development, FRHI Makkah, the chain’s 1,487-room Swissôtel Makkah has exceeded initial occupancy-level forecasts since opening last year – to date occupancy levels are at 80%.

The growth is largely attributed to the ever-increasing influx of pilgrims visiting the KSA’s holiest city.

“Hajj and Umrah tourism receipts were up by 10% last year compared to 2011 figures, reaching $16.5 billion,” Yamak added.

“With the Saudi government also investing heavily in infrastructure projects,” he continued, “our strategy has focused on driving additional business by presenting a cohesive identity for three very unique, yet complementary, Makkah properties.”

FRHI operates the Fairmont branded five-star Makkah Clock Royal Tower and Raffles Makkah Place hotels in addition to Swissôtel Makkah.

According to the group, GCC travellers remain the number one source market for all three properties to date with Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia and Malaysia the main feeder markets last year.

The company also cites Dr Sahal Bin Abdullah Al-Sabban, under-secretary for transport and projects at the Holy Sites for the Ministry of Hajj, who forecasts further increases in the number of pilgrims expected to visit the country during the eight-month Umrah season.

A total of 5.5 million pilgrims visited Saudi Arabia last year, versus 4.1 million in 2011.

All three FRHI Makkah hotels will be presented at the up-coming ATM show, held 6-9 May 2013 at Dubai’s International Convention & Exhibition Centre.