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Friday, Mar 24, 2023

Saudi Arabia records 93.5 million tourists and total spending of SR185 billion in 2022

Saudi Arabia records 93.5 million tourists and total spending of SR185 billion in 2022

Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said that Saudi Arabia’s total foreign and domestic tourists accounted for 93.5 million during the year 2022.
Total tourism spending amounted to SR185 billion during the year and this figure marks an increase of 93 percent as compared to the previous year, the minister said while addressing Al-Ahsa Economic Forum on Wednesday.

Al-Khateeb highlighted the great successes achieved by the tourism system in the Kingdom, thanks to the ministry’s empowerment of investors in the tourism sector, which achieved a qualitative leap during the year 2022.

“There has been an increase of 21 percent in the rate of domestic tourists reaching 77 million in 2022 compared with the previous year while the number of foreign tourists stood at 16.5 million during the year. The direct participation of the tourism sector in the GDP reached 3.2 percent,” he said.

Al-Khateeb said the ministry is determined to make a major transformation in the tourism sector and is keen to make the tourism sector one of the fastest-growing and most sustainable economic activities.

Referring to the remarkable growth in the hospitality sector, he said: “There are more than 400,000 hotel rooms today, and we expect to add 854,000 new hotel rooms by 2030, of which 70 percent will be funded by the private sector. The Kingdom has also witnessed investments in international hotel chains in the year 2022, which will provide 435,000 new hotel rooms by 2025, in addition to 90 hotels that were opened in the Kingdom in the first quarter of 2022.”

With regard to the measures taken to further promote the thriving tourism sector in the Al-Ahsa governorate, the minister announced the provision of 10,000 training courses for young Saudi men and women in Al-Ahsa. “The Tourism Development Fund has allocated loans worth over SR2 billion to finance 15 projects in Al-Ahsa. Indicators confirm that Al-Ahsa is one of the leading governorates that attract investors in the tourism sector,” he said.

The Al-Ahsa Economic Forum with the theme of “Al-Ahsa: The Economy of the Future” is organized by the Al-Ahsa Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Several ministers, government officials, heads of international and local companies, specialists, businessmen, and prominent investors are taking part in the two-day event.

Al-Khateeb said that the participation of the Ministry of Tourism in the forum aims to provide unprecedented investment opportunities for investors from within and outside the Kingdom. “It also enables investors by providing an attractive environment for investment. The ministry strives to benefit from Al-Ahsa governorate as a tourist destination by working to transform investment opportunities into promising projects in partnership between the government and private sectors,” he said.

Al-Khateeb said the ministry is also keen on highlighting Al-Ahsa’s position as an economic, tourist, and cultural investment destination, due to the many advantages that have made it a unique tourist destination for adventure seekers. “Al-Ahsa has exceeded the growth rates in recreational trips and spending, which created the best investment opportunities in the sector, as it received more than two million tourists, with an expenditure rate of more than SR1 billion during the last period.”

He stressed that the Ministry of Tourism is currently working on projects worth SR1.43 billion in the Al-Ahsa governorate.

“This shows the ministry’s keenness to encourage tourism investment and attract investments to the governorate by working to provide the best investment opportunities, with the participation of all government and private sectors as part of achieving the sector’s objectives within the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

“Diverse investment opportunities in the tourism sector in Al-Ahsa will be displayed through the interactive map available on the unified platform that was recently launched by the ministry,” he added.

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