SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia records highest ever inbound tourism spending of SR135 billion in 2023

March 30, 2024
This record spending by inbound tourists comes within a series of continuous successes achieved by Saudi Arabia’s thriving tourism sector.
This record spending by inbound tourists comes within a series of continuous successes achieved by Saudi Arabia’s thriving tourism sector.

Saudi Gazette Report

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia recorded the highest ever spending by inbound visitors during the year 2023, reaching SR135 billion, according to the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA).

The preliminary balance of payments data, released by SAMA, showed that this spending, the highest ever in the history of Saudi Arabia, represents a growth rate of 42.8 percent compared to the previous year of 2022 when the spending of inbound visitors reached SR94.5 billion. This record increase in spending by inbound tourists comes within a series of continuous successes achieved by the Kingdom’s thriving tourism sector.

It is noteworthy that Saudi Arabia topped the United Nations Tourism ranking in terms of the growth of international tourist arrivals in 2023 compared to 2019 from among the countries hosting major tourism destinations. The Kingdom recorded an increase of 56 percent in the number of incoming tourists in 2023 compared to 2019, according to the World Tourism Barometer report issued by the United Nations Tourism in January.

The report also indicated that the Kingdom has achieved a remarkable tourism recovery rate of 156 percent in the number of tourist arrivals during the year 2023 compared to 2019.

The outstanding achievements in the tourism sector have contributed to positioning Saudi Arabia as a leader in the Middle East region’s global recovery in the field of tourism. The Mideast region is the only region that surpassed pre-COVID-19 growth levels with a 122 percent recovery rate in the international tourist arrivals during the year 2023 compared to the year 2019.

According to the UN barometer report, several tourist destinations in the Kingdom had witnessed a noticeable increase in the number of inbound and domestic visitors during the year 2023. These accomplishments reinforced the Kingdom’s position as a leading global tourist destination. The remarkable increase in the number of tourist arrivals reflects travelers’ confidence in the Kingdom’s attractive tourism options and their diversity.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Tourism celebrated a significant milestone, reaching 100 million tourists by the end of 2023, achieving this target seven years ahead of the timeline set by Saudi Vision 2030. The surge in tourism saw more than 106 million domestic and international visitors, marking a 56 percent increase from 2019 and a 12 percent rise from 2022.

The achievement has garnered international recognition, with accolades from UN Tourism and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), acknowledging Saudi Arabia's rapid development in the tourism sector. The international UN bodies also hailed the Kingdom for the government’s great efforts to tap the huge potential of the vital tourism sector.


March 30, 2024
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