Saudi tourism is witnessing rapid growth following an ambitious strategy, through which the Kingdom aims to be an advanced number on the global tourism map by raising the number of annual visits to 100 million visitors from home and abroad, providing more than one million job opportunities, and increasing by 10% of the gross national product by the end of the current decade.
Tourism is one of the pillars of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, to contribute to diversifying the base of the national economy, attracting investments, and increasing sources of income, due to its natural and heritage components, projects, and entertainment cities for a unique quality of life and making strong fingerprints for future tourism.
The Kingdom embraces tourist destinations that have become a destination for visitors from the countries of the region and the world, until the number of issued visas – even before the Corona pandemic – reached about 450 thousand visas, since the launch of the tourist visa by the Saudi Tourism Authority in 2019, by targeting 49 countries as a first stage, Facilitating obtaining tourist visas electronically or through entry points to the Kingdom within specific regulatory controls.
The Kingdom, through the Saudi Tourism Authority, also recorded a strong presence in local and international tourism exhibitions and took care of marketing destinations, sites, itineraries, products, and tourist packages internally and externally, and marketing and promotional campaigns were launched for tourist destinations in the Kingdom, the last of which was the “Saudi Summer” program, which was launched by the “Spirit of Saudi” platform. Under the slogan “Our Summer on Jock”, to promote 11 tourist destinations until the end of next September, with more than 500 tourist experiences, provided by 250 partners from the private sector.
The Saudi Tourism Authority also announced the “Saudi Expert” window to support partners and develop tourism products, as it prepared a program dedicated to helping the tourism system to improve the level of services and products offered and enhance cooperation among them and other related services.
As a result of tourism successes and achievements, the Kingdom continues to enhance its global gains, as it advanced in the global ranking of the size of travel and tourism economies despite the repercussions of the pandemic. According to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council, Saudi Arabia advanced last year to 16th place, out of 185 countries around the world included in the monitoring.
This is a result of the rational government’s efforts to support the sector, by working to establish giant entertainment projects, such as Qiddiya, the Red Sea, Amaala, and NEOM, in addition to developing Diriyah and Al-Ula, developing the sector’s regulatory environment, and working to increase seasonal activities.