Friday, December 8, 2023

Seera posts gross booking value of $665m in Q2; up 108pc

Seera Group, a leading provider travel and tourism services in the region, has posted gross booking value (GBV) of SR2.5 billion ($665 million) in the second-quarter (Q2) of the year, an increase of 108 per cent compared to SR1.2 billion in Q2 2021.

Driven by growth in demand for services across inbound, outbound and domestic tourism sectors Seera achieved a GBV of SR4.1 billion in the first six months (H1) of the year, an increase of 105 per cent compared to SR2 billion in the same period of 2021.

Almosafer, Seera’s travel business, reported an 89 per cent growth in GBV to SR1.7 billion in Q2 2022, up from SR0.9 billion in Q2 2021. Almosafer’s consumer travel unit achieved its highest ever quarterly GBV of SR1.1 billion in Q2 2022, an increase of 175 per cent compared to SR0.4 billion in Q2 2021.

In June 2022, Almosafer recorded the highest levels of consumer travel bookings in its history, exceeding pre-pandemic levels in June 2019 by 27 per cent with a GBV of over SR500 million. Almosafer’s consumer travel segment is on track to achieve SR4 billion GBV by the end of 2022.

The high levels of consumer bookings reflect the strong demand for international and domestic travel, especially during the summer season across the unit’s omnichannel booking platforms. Bookings for London and Paris this summer have exceeded the pre-pandemic levels in 2019, driven by the introduction of the electronic visa waiver for Saudi nationals on 1 June 2022 in the UK and the lifting of pandemic restrictions in France.

Thailand and Türkiye are also among the popular destinations this summer, driven by the announcements that Saudi nationals are exempt from visa requirements to visit Thailand and are now permitted to visit Türkiye.

Almosafer Business, the Group’s corporate and government travel management unit, reported a 27 per cent growth in GBV, from SR473 million in Q2 2021 to SR600 million in Q2 2022 as it continues to serve government and semi-government sector clients with travel management products.

Lumi, Seera’s car rental and leasing brand, continued its trajectory of growth with revenue increasing by 40%, from SR122 million in Q2 2021 to SR171 million in Q2 2022. With a well-maintained fleet of over 18,500 vehicles in Q2 2022, consumer and corporate bookings continue to increase. Consumer bookings through Lumi’s mobile application and retail outlets at airports and key city locations across the Kingdom have steadily increased. Ongoing and newly secured leasing agreements with private and public sector clients have contributed to the growth of the unit.

Mawasim, Seera’s wholesale tour operator for Hajj and Umrah, recorded SR10 million in revenue for Q2 2022, a significant increase from Q2 2021. The growth has been fueled by the return in demand for Umrah pilgrimages as coronavirus and religious travel restrictions were eased or lifted.

Discover Saudi, Seera’s integrated destination management company (DMC), recorded a GBV of SR24 million in Q2 2022, an increase of 50 per cent compared to the same period in 2021. Demand for inbound tourism to Saudi Arabia has witnessed unprecedented growth with the reinstatement of visa on arrival options for UK nationals, US nationals and Schengen visa holders as well as the overall promotion of the Kingdom as a must-visit tourist destination.

Seera’s Hospitality unit yielded revenues of SR27 million, a 93 per cent growth in Q2 2022 compared to the same quarter in 2021. This has been led by a rise in occupancy at Seera’s properties in Makkah due the increased demand for Hajj and Umrah and steady growth in demand at two Choice Hotels in Jeddah which opened in January this year.

Seera’s Corporate Ventures unit recorded a GBV of SR547 million in Q2 2022, an increase of 402 per cent compared to Q2 2021. The growth comes as Europe has seen a significant resurgence of demand across corporate, business and leisure travel leading to strong performance in Seera’s largest investment, the UK-based Portman Travel Group.

Majed Alnefaie, CEO at Seera Group, said: “This is yet another strong quarter for Seera Group with growth across all our business units. We reported a very positive summer booking season and the demand for travel remains strong led by the Saudi leadership’s focus on promoting the tourism sector as a key contributor to the economy. We will continue to meet the growing demand and ensure our customers receive the best possible travel products and services from Seera Group, while creating added value for the Saudi economy.”

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