Saudi Arabia Joins Global Tourism Visa Index 2023

Saudi Arabia has entered the index of openness and facilitation of global tourist visas for the year 2023, according to the United Nations Tourism Organization.

International tourist destinations such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Japan, Italy, and others topped the index. The scores for the tourist visa openness index start and end at 100, and a higher score means ease of obtaining a tourist visa.

Middle East Visa Facilitation

The United Nations Tourism Organization said: The Middle East region has made progress in facilitating obtaining tourist visas. In 2015, 71% of the world’s population needed to obtain a traditional visa before visiting the Middle East, and by May 2023 the number had dropped to 57%.

The United Nations Tourism Organization decided to open destinations to international travel to pre-pandemic levels after lifting travel restrictions related to Covid-19. As a result of the pandemic, new forms of facilitating travel have also emerged such as nomad visas.

السعودية تستهدف استقبال مليون زيارة سياحية هذا العام

Global indicators

Traditional visa requirements have been seen to decrease, and fewer people around the world now require a traditional visa to travel; it decreased from “77%” in 2008 to “59%” in 2018, then to “47%” in 2023.

The report of the United Nations Tourism Organization recorded that “21%” of the world’s population do not need any form of visa, an increase from “17%” in 2008, and “20%” in 2018, and “14%” of the world’s population can apply.

“18%” of the world’s population can apply for electronic visas, compared to “3%” in 2013, and “7%” in 2018.

Ranking of world regions

The Asia-Pacific region received the highest degree of openness among all regions of the world, and the most open sub-regions are Southeast Asia, East Africa, and the Caribbean.

The largest increase in openness since the last report in 2018 came in South Asia and West Africa, while the most restrictive regions are Central and North Africa, North America, and Northern and Western Europe. Visa exemptions are particularly widespread in the Caribbean and Central America.

Traditional visa applications in the Middle East decreased from “71%” of the world’s population in 2015 to “57%” in 2023, while electronic visas are spreading in West and East Africa and South Asia.

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