Seera Group, the leading provider of diverse travel and tourism services in the Middle East, reported another financial quarter of impressive growth.
The growth in demand for services across inbound, outbound and domestic tourism sectors fuelled an increase in Seera’s gross booking value (GBV) to SAR 2.5 billion in Q2 (April to June) 2022 – an increase of 108% compared to SAR 1.2 billion in Q2 2021. During the first six months of 2022, Seera achieved a GBV of SAR 4.1 billion, an increase of 105% compared to SAR 2 billion in the same period of 2021.
Almosafer, Seera’s travel business, reported a 89% growth in GBV to SAR 1.7 billion in Q2 2022, up from SAR 0.9 billion in Q2 2021. Almosafer’s consumer travel unit achieved its highest ever quarterly GBV of SAR 1.1 billion in Q2 2022, an increase of 175% compared to SAR 0.4 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% with a GBV of over SAR 500 million. Almosafer’s consumer travel segment is on track to achieve SAR 4 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% growth in GBV, from SAR 473 million in Q2 2021 to SAR 600 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 SAR 122 million in Q2 2021 to SAR 171 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 SAR 10 million in revenue for Q2 2022, a significant increase from Q2 2021. The growth has been fuelled 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 SAR 24 million in Q2 2022, an increase of 50% 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 SAR 27 million, a 93% 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 SAR 547 million in Q2 2022, an increase of 402% 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.”