Makkah Hotel Booking Cancellations Surge

Hotel booking cancellations in the Saudi city of Makkah have increased dramatically in the few weeks before Ramadan starts, due to fears of the H1N1 virus.  Ramadan usually indicates the beginning of high season Makah hotels.  More than two million Muslims visit the city each year during the fasting month to perform the umrah pilgrimage.

Bookings for the Ramadan season at the Makkah Hilton & Towers have dropped over 20%.   The hotel is located near the Al Haram Mosque and cube shaped Kaaba building.  Marketing department employee said “We’re not fully booked for this coming Ramadan which is very unusual.”  Mohammed Amin attributed the fall in bookings to swine flu fears and financial crisis.    More than three million Muslims from 150 countries are expected arrive in Makkah for the annual Hajj pilgrimage which starts in November. Amin said he expects the 1014 room hotel will be fully booked then.

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