Saudi Tourism Foreigners’ Expenditure Jumps to $12.4 Billion in 2023 Q2
Foreigners’ expenditure in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continued to set new record levels in the tourism sector by the end of the second quarter (Q2) of 2023, achieving the highest quarterly spending ever.
The volume of foreigners’ expenditure on travel in the Kingdom jumped by 121% during 2023 second quarter on an annual basis, an increase of 25.5 billion riyals ($6.8 billion) compared to the same quarter in 2022, according to statistics by “Mubasher” based on balance of payments data issued by the Saudi Central Bank “SAMA”.
An increase in tourists’ expenditure in Saudi Arabia during the second quarter of 2023 reached up to 46.58 billion riyals ($12.42 billion). This is the highest level ever, compared to 21.08 billion riyals ($5.62 billion) in the same quarter last year.
On a quarterly basis, foreigners’ expenditure on the Kingdom’s tourism sector increased by 25.6% during the second quarter of 2023 compared to the previous quarter. It reached 37.09 billion riyals ($9.89 billion) in the first quarter of this year, to record 9.49 billion riyals ( $2.53 billion).
During the first half of 2023, foreigners’ expenditure on tourism in Saudi Arabia jumped by 129.6% on an annual basis, with an increase of 47.23 billion riyals ($12.59 billion) compared to the volume of expenditure during the same period last year.
Foreigners’ expenditure on travelling in the Kingdom amounted to 83.67 billion riyals ($22.31 billion) in the first half of 2023, compared to 36.44 billion riyals ($9.72 billion) in the same period of 2022.
Surplus thanks to tourists
Saudi Arabia achieved a surplus in the travel balance of payments during the second quarter of 2023 for the sixth quarter in a row. Its value amounted to 22.84 billion riyals ($6.09 billion), compared to 17.041 billion riyals ($4.54 billion) in the first quarter of this year.
It was stated that the balance of payments surplus of the travel sector reflects the increase in expenditure of travelers to Saudi Arabia, compared to the expenditure of Saudis and residents in the kingdom on travelling abroad.
The year 2022 broke a record. It was the highest year in history regarding tourists’ expenditure in Saudi Arabia. The volume of their expenditure amounted to 94.51 billion riyals ($25.2 billion), compared to 14.32 billion riyals ($3.82 billion) in 2021, an increase of 560.2%, and a difference of 80.2 billion riyals ($1 billion).
For the first time, Saudi Arab achieved a surplus of 34.84 billion riyals ($9.29 billion) in the balance of payments for the travel sector in 2022. It is the first recorded surplus according to the Central Bank’s historical data since 2006.