Ministry of Tourism Releases Its Preliminary Statistics for First Half of 2023

Ministry of Tourism Releases Its Preliminary Statistics for First Half of 2023

The Ministry of Tourism issued preliminary tourism statistics for the first half of the year 2023. This release aims to highlight the evolving performance of the tourism sector in the Kingdom.

In addition, the release reveals to local and foreign stakeholders and investors the sector’s performance, according to Saudi Press Agency.

Continued Growth in Tourism Sector

The results from the first half of the current year show a continuation of growth in the sector, following the significant progress in 2022.

This confirms the effectiveness of the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and its partners in developing the tourism sector through improving the quality of services and products, in addition to enhancing visa structures.

Significant Progress in Tourism Sector

The positive results highlight significant progress in the Ministry of Tourism. In the first half of 2023, the total number of tourists (overnight visitors for all purposes) in the Kingdom reached 53.6 million, with 14.6 million international tourists and 39 million domestic tourists.

The total tourism expenditure was 150 billion Riyals, comprising 86.9 billion from international tourism and 63.1 billion from domestic tourism.

Record-Breaking Performance by Incoming Tourism

Incoming tourism achieved historic numbers in the first half of 2023, with a notable increase of 142% in tourist numbers and 132% in tourism spending compared to the same period in 2022.

Continuous Development in Saudi Tourism Sector

 The Saudi tourism sector’s continuous development has significantly boosted incoming tourist numbers. In the first half of 2023, entertainment and vacation visits led this growth. They saw a 347% increase from the same period in 2022.

Rise in Domestic Tourism Spending

Domestic tourism spending increased by 16% in the first half of 2023 compared to 2022. This increase is linked to longer average stays, from 4.6 nights in 2022 to 6.3 nights in 2023. Entertainment and vacation visits were the most popular, attracting about 16.6 million tourists.

This represents 43% of all tourists, marking an 18% growth from early 2022.

Increase in Departing Tourism

Departing tourism (citizens and non-Saudi residents) rose by 37% in early 2023, compared to 2022. Their spending surged by 74%. This growth is due to the return of pre-pandemic travel, the summer season, and school vacations in June.

Non-Saudi residents made up 45% of all departing tourists, a 24% increase from the previous year. Visits for meeting friends and relatives dominated, comprising 67% of these tourists.

They stayed an average of 45.5 nights in the first half of 2023, up from 19.3 nights in 2022. This led to a 109% increase in their tourism spending.

Rise in Saudi Tourist Departures

Finally, the number of departing Saudi tourists increased by 49%, especially to neighboring countries, with a 32% increase in their overseas spending. The average spending per night decreased from 559 Saudi Riyals to 332 Saudi Riyals for departing Saudi tourists during the same period.

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