The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has revealed Saudi Arabia as a rising star in the global tourism sector. The country has moved up 12 places from 2019 and has risen to 13th place in the world in terms of attracting international tourists in 2022. In total, no less than 16.6 million tourists from around the world chose the country as their destination that year.
The first quarter of 2023 marked a new record for the country, which welcomed around 7.8 million foreign visitors. This represents a 64% increase over the same period in 2019, another record statistic for the Kingdom.
And revenues to grow in similar proportions. Indeed, with 16 places gained in the world ranking, the country secures the 11th place in 2022, a considerable jump from the 27th place it occupied in 2019. This data was corroborated by the World Tourism Barometer report, published by UNWTO in May 2023.
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In addition, the latest UNWTO figures also place Saudi Arabia as the second fastest growing tourism destination in the world. These achievements are part of the country’s Vision 2030, which aims to make the country a popular destination worldwide and increase the sector’s economic contribution to the national GDP.
State efforts to boost tourism
Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb attributed the country’s success in the tourism sector to simplified visa procedures, targeted promotional campaigns and the diversity of Saudi Arabia’s tourist attractions. He reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to fostering partnerships with public and private sector entities to strengthen the country’s position as a global tourism powerhouse.