SAUDI ARABIA. Riyadh Airports Company (RAC) recorded a record commercial performance at King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) with tax-free revenue in July up +12% from the previous monthly high set in March this year.
Notably, the performance was also +68% higher than the duty free revenues reported for the pre-pandemic month of July 2019. Aelia Duty Free (Lagardère Travel Retail) operates the duty free stores at the airport.
Duty-free sales recorded on successive days of July 6, 7 and 8 were all higher than any previous day in the history of the airport, which opened in 1983.
The impressive new duty-free figures were shared with The Moodie Davitt Report ahead of this month’s release of our special publication, The Saudi Travel & Tourism Ecosystem Report.
The title takes a deep dive into one of the most exciting, environmentally conscious, invested and dynamic travel, tourism and aviation markets in the world.
The publication includes a cover interview with RAC Commercial Group Acting Vice President Abdulaziz Al-Asaker, who discusses the factors behind KKIA’s rapid rise as a duty-free access point and the central role of the gateway in the broader tourism ecosystem.
“Since King Khalid International Airport is the first point about the Kingdom that the tourist who has different notions about Saudi Arabia – or maybe no notion at all – discovers, we must therefore convey this notion in the common sense,” he said.
“We need to have our facilities and services ready for the tourist. We need to make everything convenient for the traveler and provide the best and smoothest experience to leave a lasting first impression. And for the final impression, when they leave the country, they have to say goodbye in a very good way and with the best possible experience so that they can come back.