American international hotel chain Radisson is going forward with plans to open five new hotels in Saudi Arabia this year, despite a global downturn in the hospitality sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the reports, the Radisson Hotel Group has unveiled its eight new ventures between the UAE and the Kingdom, as the US chain doubles down on its Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) expansion, with 5,000 rooms planned across the region.
“The Middle East and Africa are two key development areas and our ambitions across the region have remained the same. Saudi Arabia, in particular, is a special market for Radisson, as half of its Middle East portfolio in operation and under development is in the Kingdom. We operate over 20 hotels, resorts, and serviced apartments with over 3,500 keys in KSA today – with a pipeline doubling our portfolio by 2025.”
The move comes as the hospitality industry continues to rebound from the impact of the global health crisis, which resulted in significant losses for the industry in 2020. However, preliminary data from US-based hotel industry market data provider STR has shown some signs of optimism for the Middle East’s hospitality sector.
In January, hotels in Al-Khobar, Dammam, and Jeddah saw steady increases in occupancy, concurrent with New Year celebrations, according to the reports. During that time, Jeddah had a 62 percent occupancy rate, while Al-Khobar and Dammam had 72 percent.
The region’s positive outlook could be attributed to mass vaccination drives. Gulf countries were among the first in the world to introduce national inoculation initiatives to accelerate their return to normality amid the pandemic, as per the reports.