WTTC celebrates Saudi Arabia milestone surpassing 100 million tourists

WTTC celebrates Saudi Arabia milestone surpassing 100 million tourists

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) joyously applauds Saudi Arabia for its extraordinary achievement in welcoming over 100 million tourists! This milestone is a shining testament to the Kingdom's visionary reforms, bold investments, and unwavering resilience in the face of global adversity. Saudi Arabia's relentless pursuit of economic diversification and prosperity is vividly showcased through its dynamic strides in the Travel & Tourism sector. Prepare to embark on an enchanting journey through the heart of Saudi Arabia's vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes!

Tourist visas

The implementation of tourist visas in 2019, along with the strategic formation of the Ministry of Tourism in 2020, has played a pivotal role in aligning the Travel & Tourism sector with the ambitious goals of Vision 2030 while unlocking opportunities for visitors worldwide to explore.

Ministry of tourism 

The establishment of the Ministry of Tourism in 2020 strategically synchronized the sector with the ambitious objectives of Vision 2030. 

National Tourism Strategy

The regulations implemented in 2022 as part of the National Tourism Strategy are designed to improve service standards and foster development, establishing a robust groundwork for sustainable expansion and creativity.

Saudi Arabia's Travel & Tourism sector has shown remarkable resilience, evidenced by a 156% increase in international tourist arrivals in 2023 compared to 2019. This recovery is attributed to strategic initiatives like the streamlined E-visa program and significant investments in tourism infrastructure, enhancing the country's appeal as a premier global tourism destination. The achievement of attracting over 100 million tourists reflects Saudi Arabia's proactive strategy and reform-driven approach, demonstrating strategic foresight and adaptability.

Strategic reforms, including the restructuring of tourism license fees and reduction of annual government fees, have created a supportive regulatory environment encouraging investment and innovation. These initiatives align with Saudi Arabia's broader economic diversification strategy and its aim to position tourism as a leading employment sector by 2030. As Saudi Arabia continues its expansion and strategic reforms in the Travel & Tourism sector, the WTTC recognizes the Kingdom's achievements and pledges support for its ongoing ambitions to establish itself as a global tourism powerhouse, contributing to the sector's global recovery and prosperity. 

Strategic Reforms and Sustainable Growth in Saudi Arabia's Tourism Sector

Tourism officials in Saudi Arabia disclosed a remarkable surge of 390 per cent in tourism activity license applications last year while highlighting the substantial impact of travel and tourism on the country's non-oil gross value added (GVA), which exceeded seven per cent.

"As Saudi Arabia continues to expand its tourism infrastructure and implement strategic reforms, the global Travel & Tourism community eagerly anticipates witnessing the Kingdom's journey towards becoming a global powerhouse," stated the WTTC. The WTTC reiterated its commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia's ambitions, fostering sustainable development, and contributing to the sector's global recovery and prosperity. Saudi Arabia has taken measures to alleviate obstacles for potential visitors, notably reducing annual government fees by nearly 22 per cent, with plans for further reductions of up to 70 per cent. Recent data from the WTTC indicates that Saudi Arabia is poised to invest in the travel and tourism sector, with projections suggesting an even higher investment by 2027.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateebemphasized that the tourism ecosystem is adhering to the national tourism strategy by developing various tourist destinations. The goal is to enhance tourists' experiences, provide diverse options for both local and international visitors, and improve hospitality facilities and other services. The commitment is to align with top international standards and practices, contributing to a prosperous future for the tourism industry, enhancing quality of life, and strengthening the Kingdom's position in the global tourism landscape.

In 2023, the tourism sector in the Kingdom achieved significant milestones, with the total number of tourists, including domestic and international visitors, reaching 106.2 million. This marks an impressive 56% increase compared to 2019 and a substantial 12% surge from 2022. Among these, international tourist numbers reached 27.4 million, indicating a noteworthy 56% rise from 2019 and an impressive 65% increase compared to 2022.

Alignment of AIMS