JEDDAH — Amid growing demand in Saudi domestic tourism and intensified efforts to further boost the Kingdom’s hospitality and tourism industry, a renowned pioneer in the Arab world’s tourism industry believes that success in the business rests on maintaining integrity.
Ziyad Bin Mahfouz, President of the Elaf Group of Companies for Travel, Tourism and Hotels, cited for his key contributions to further bolster the industry, said "credibility has always played a significant role in our continuing efforts toward success."
His efforts and long-term vision has greatly helped the company achieve rapid growth and expansion across the Middle East region’s hotel and hospitality industry, delivering up to 5,000 hotel rooms by end-2012 across Jeddah, Makkah and Madina, which reflects the clients’ growing trust in the company.
In an interview, Elaf’s president said though the Arab Spring has definitely had a negative effect on the Middle East’s business in general and the tourism segment in particular, "unlike other neighboring countries that have been affected by the turn of events, Saudi Arabia has managed to attract the attention of other key markets, mainly because of the stable and secure atmosphere that His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has created for the country."
On Elaf Group’s robust expansion into many countries, such as Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Indonesia, he said the success hinges, among others, on "our commitment toward customer satisfaction."
He added "credibility has always played a significant role in our continuing efforts toward success. In terms of the growing demand for key services and products for those going on pilgrimage to Makkah and Madina, we take pride in saying that no company can surpass the good reputation that Elaf holds."
The Saudi hospitality sector looks bright due to growing tourist arrivals.
An industry study said recently that there will be about 424,000 hotel rooms in Saudi Arabia by 2016, up from a projected 317,000 in 2012.
In line with this, Elaf Group has embarked on expanding business across the Kingdom "which will be accompanied with the launch of a new range of hotels to cater to the growing demands of the domestic tourism industry."
As more Saudis as well as residents of neighboring countries show interest in local tourist destinations, Ziyad Bin Mahfouz said "our strategy is aimed toward complementing the consolidated efforts to provide improved products and services and ensure a better travel experience for both local and foreign tourists. In addition, all of the company’s investments and business activities are Shariah-compliant."
He noted that cities of Makkah, Madina and Jeddah, "where our hotels are mainly established", in addition to Riyadh, are the most prominent sites for religious and business related tourism in the country.
"Madina and Jeddah are also recognized among the fastest growing markets in the world and has marked the highest return on hotel rooms in the region, reaffirming the Kingdom’s leading position in the hospitality industry. We are fully committed to support the growth of this industry by offering high-quality hotel rooms to address the increasing demand in the market and seek new investment opportunities to maintain this success." — SG