WTTC Commends Saudi Arabia For Surpassing 100 Million Tourists

City view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
RIYADH - DECEMBER 22: Kingdom tower on December 22, 2009 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Kingdom tower is a business and convention center, shopping mall and one of the main landmarks of Riyadh city

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) extends congratulations to Saudi Arabia for achieving the milestone of hosting more than 100 million tourists. This accomplishment reflects the Kingdom’s effective strategic reforms, forward-thinking investments, and resilience in the face of global challenges. The success underscores Saudi Arabia’s commitment to transforming its Travel & Tourism sector into a crucial driver of economic diversification and growth.

The implementation of tourist visas in 2019 and the establishment of the Ministry of Tourism in 2020 have played a crucial role in aligning the Travel & Tourism sector with the ambitious goals of Vision 2030. The National Tourism Strategy, coupled with regulations introduced in 2022 to enhance service quality and development, has further propelled the sector forward, laying a solid foundation for sustainable growth and innovation.

Saudi Arabia’s travel and tourism sector has exhibited extraordinary resiliency, with foreign tourist arrivals up 156% in 2023 compared to 2019. This recovery highlights the effectiveness of the Kingdom’s strategic initiatives, such as the streamlined E-visa program and substantial investments in tourism infrastructure, collectively enhancing the country’s allure as a premier global tourism destination.

Surpassing the 100 million tourists mark not only highlights the sector’s attractiveness but also showcases Saudi Arabia’s strategic foresight and adaptability, accomplishing a significant goal seven years ahead of schedule.

Saudi Arabia’s strategic reforms have fostered a supportive and flexible regulatory environment, encouraging investment and innovation. One of the most significant of these measures is the reorganization of tourism license fees to match the individual demands and operations of investors. The Kingdom has also taken substantial steps to reduce the financial burden on the Travel & Tourism sector, lowering annual government fees by about 22% and committing to further reductions of up to 70%.

These projects are part of Saudi Arabia’s greater economic diversification policy, which seeks to position tourism as a significant employment industry by 2030.

As Saudi Arabia continues its path of expansion and strategic changes in the Travel & Tourism sector, WTTC acknowledges the Kingdom’s important achievements and pledges to support its ongoing objectives.

The global tourism body eagerly anticipates Saudi Arabia’s continued growth and success in establishing itself as a global tourism powerhouse, contributing to the sector’s global recovery and prosperity.


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