23.12.2008 - Booming industry builds up around Mecca pilgrimage
From FT: The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj, is a sacred duty for all Muslims, but one that has always been prohibitively expensive for millions of believers. This year, the cost skyrocketed even further, as the Saudi government razed old hotels to give way to $20bn in new developments. Local observers estimate that Hajj operators increased their prices by 30 to 50 per cent this year, and hotel prices, which normally increase four- or fivefold during the season, increased even more. In theory the pilgrims were required to use tour operators, who provide food, housing, and transport. ..... Full Article: Source