Saudi Arabia Aims to Attract 150 Million Tourists by 2030

In an ambitious endeavor to transform its tourism sector, Saudi Arabia targets a remarkable number of 150 million visitors, both international and domestic by the year 2030. Ahmad Al-Khatib, the Saudi Minister of Tourism, highlighted this goal, emphasizing that the Kingdom has allocated a staggering $800 billion to bolster its position as one of the world’s most visited countries.

Surge in Hotel and Resort Developments

This objective comes on the heels of a year where the Kingdom welcomed between 25 and 30 million tourists, a figure that Al-Khatib describes as “very reasonable.” Substantial investments are being funneled into constructing additional resorts and establishing a new airline to transport visitors to the Kingdom. Massive budgets have been dedicated to building more hotels and resorts along the Red Sea coast and developing significant sites like AlUla and the ancient city of Diriyah.

Vision 2030: Focusing on Diversifying the Economy

Part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 includes an aspiration to diversify the Saudi economy, currently valued at $1.1 trillion, and ensuring that by 2030, tourism contributes approximately 10% to the Kingdom’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This strategy aims to amplify non-oil revenue streams through the proliferation of the tourism sector.

Global Academy of Tourism: An Investment in Global Skill Development

The Kingdom recently unveiled details about the Global Academy of Tourism, a gift from Riyadh to the world, which aims to invest in the development of international competencies and skills within the sector. The celebrations of this year’s World Tourism Day, held in Riyadh, were recognized by the World Tourism Organization as the largest and most impactful in its 43-year history. The event witnessed participation from over 50 tourism ministers and over 500 leaders, experts, and officials from 120 countries worldwide, all congregating under the theme “Tourism and Green Investment.”

Hub of Increasing Investment Opportunities

Expressing his gratitude towards the Saudi leadership for their unwavering support of the tourism sector, Al-Khatib acknowledged the substantial support witnessed from King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the continuous guidance and supervision from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This support has been a genuine motivator behind the historic leaps achieved by the tourism sector in the Kingdom, catalyzing the creation of more employment opportunities and augmenting tourism investment opportunities to assist in realizing the objectives of Vision 2030.

Moreover, Al-Khatib highlighted Saudi Arabia’s accomplishments and contributions to the global tourism landscape, hosting numerous global tourism events and sincerely initiating the recovery of the international tourism sector post-pandemic.

Promoting Global Cooperation and Sustainable Development

The focus areas of discussions and activities during World Tourism Day revolved around enhancing global cooperation and sustainable development within the international tourism sector. It included over ten discussion sessions and several bilateral meetings during which the primary challenges faced by the tourism sector and opportunities for development and advancement on a global scale were showcased.

The Day’s topics also included the role of tourism in cultural communication, environmental conservation, achieving sustainability, and the increasingly lucrative investment opportunities in the tourism sector to keep pace with the consistent increase in tourist numbers globally.

The Kingdom’s ambitious venture into broadening its tourism horizon is in line with global trends and presents a fascinating case of economic diversification and international collaboration in the post-pandemic world.

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