Saudi Arabia expects 150 million tourists, as spending reached $26.7 billion last year

The Kingdom's tourism sector was able to welcome 100 million visitors in 2023, according to an announcement by Ahmed bin Aqeel Al Khateeb.

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This achievement comprised 77 million domestic tourists and 27 million international visitors, collectively contributing SR100 billion ($26.7 billion) to the economy. Al Khateeb revealed these figures during a ministerial session titled "The Importance of the Private Sector in Achieving Vision 2030," held as part of the second edition of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Private Sector Forum.

During the session, Al Khateeb highlighted the ambitious goals set by the Crown Prince's new strategy, aiming to attract 150 million tourists by 2030, with 80 million expected to be domestic tourists and 70 million international visitors. He emphasized the government's commitment to funding training programs, noting that over 100,000 young individuals received training last year.

Among them, 15,000 were trained at world-class institutes to prepare them for roles in the tourism sector. Additionally, Al Khateeb underscored the role of the Human Resources Development Fund in increasing salaries within the sector.

Al Khateeb also addressed efforts to enhance legislation and promote investment in the tourism industry. He highlighted the establishment of the Tourism Development Fund, which has allocated funding for more than 50 projects totaling SR35 billion ($9.3 billion). This investment has made the tourism sector an attractive and straightforward endeavor for investors globally.

The Tourism Development Fund has been instrumental in driving growth and development within the tourism industry, facilitating the implementation of various projects aimed at enhancing the Kingdom's tourism infrastructure and offerings. These initiatives align with the broader objectives outlined in Vision 2030, which seeks to diversify the Saudi economy and promote non-oil sectors, including tourism.

Al Khateeb's comments highlight the significant progress Saudi Arabia has made in developing its tourism industry and hitting its lofty goals. By leveraging strategic investments, training programs, and legislative enhancements, the Kingdom aims to position itself as a leading global tourist destination, offering unparalleled experiences to both domestic and international visitors. This comprehensive approach reflects Saudi Arabia's commitment to realizing its vision of a vibrant and sustainable tourism sector contributing to the country's economic growth and development.

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