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Saudi Tourists Spent $1.25bn Vacationing Abroad

ImageA new report prepared by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) shows that 870,000 Saudi tourists spent SR4.7bn ($1.25bn) while travelling abroad this year.  The report was released by the Data Center for Tourism Research of the SCTA.  Saudi tourists travelling abroad this summer spent an average of SR5,400 or ($1,440) per person.  The SCTA report said Bahrain was the most popular destinations for Saudis, receiving 406,500 tourists, followed by Jordan with 169,000 tourists, then the UAE with 78,000 tourists.  

Madinah and Makkah, however, sustained heavy financial losses during Haj and Ramadan due to swine flu fears  - estimated at $240m.  Tourism officials said the H1N1 virus caused serious damage to the economy.   Many people were not able to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah during Ramadan, causing hotel occupancy rates to fall up to 40 per cent.

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