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UN Tourism and WTTC laud Saudi Arabia for welcoming over 100 million tourists

UN Tourism and WTTC laud Saudi Arabia for welcoming over 100 million tourists
March 2, 2024

The World Travel & Tourism Council and UN Tourism have recognised Saudi Arabia’s achievement of welcoming over 100 million tourists in 2023. This accomplishment significantly surpassed the previous target set for 2030, positioning Saudi Arabia as an emerging global tourism powerhouse.

The Ministry of Tourism announced that the Kingdom has achieved this milestone seven years ahead of the initial goal according to the latest data. Motivated by this success, the Kingdom has now set a new ambitious target of welcoming 150 million tourists by 2030.

Tourism has proven to be a significant contributor to the nation's economy, with domestic and international tourists spending over 250 billion riyals in 2023. This expenditure represents over 4% of GDP and 7% of the non-oil GDP reflecting the crucial role of tourism in diversifying Saudi Arabia's economy.

H.E. Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb noted "This announcement demonstrates the scale of our transformation since the National Tourism Strategy was launched five years ago. Tourism is a key pillar in the nation's economic transformation under Vision 2030, creating jobs and revenue for the Kingdom. We thank both UN Tourism and WTTC as valued partners in our journey for their shared commitment to a sustainable and prosperous tourism sector.

"The tourism ecosystem continues to operate in line with the national tourism strategy by developing diverse tourist destinations. Our aim is to enrich the experiences of tourists, diversify options for both local and international visitors, and enhance hospitality facilities along with other services provided. We are committed to aligning with top-tier international experiences and practices. This approach contributes to shaping a prosperous future for our tourism industry, improving the quality of life, and bolstering the Kingdom's position on the global tourism map.”

The tourism sector in the Kingdom has marked significant qualitative leaps, with the total number of tourists, both domestic and international, reaching 106.2 million in 2023. This represents a remarkable increase of 56% compared to 2019 and a substantial 12% surge compared to 2022. Among these, the number of international tourists reached 27.4 million, showing a substantial 56% increase from 2019 and an impressive 65% rise compared to 2022.

Images. Saudi Arabia's achievement of welcoming +100 million tourists receives global recognition from UN Tourism and WTTC

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