Saudi Arabia to introduce new visa regime for GCC residents
Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb has revealed that Saudi Arabia will introduce a new visa scheme for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) residents soon.
Al-Khateeb stressed that the tourist visas launched by the Kingdom in 2019 still exist and there are no specific restrictions for those coming for tourism.
In an interview with CNBC Arabic on Wednesday, Al-Khateeb said that 64 million domestic trips were made in the Kingdom during 2021, while the number of visitors from abroad reached 5 million last year.
He pointed out that the tourism sector in the Kingdom shrank by 40 percent during the pandemic.
Al-Khateeb confirmed that the Al-Bujairi area in the Diriyah project is expected to open this year.
“The sector's contribution to job creation was 3 percent in 2019 and we target to reach 10 percent by 2030,” he said.
“The job sector in the Kingdom grew by 15 percent to 820,000 jobs between 2019 and now,” he added. “We aim to spend more than $200 billion by 2030.”
Al-Khateeb said, “We aim to reach the sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP to about 10 percent by 2030.”
According to Al-Khateeb, the tourism sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP was 3 percent when the tourism strategy was launched in September 2019.