Tourism industry in 2023: Incredible Amounts and Massive Projects
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Saudi Tourism in 2023: Incredible Amounts and Massive Projects



The tourism industry in Saudi Arabia is constantly progressing towards being one of the key sources of the Kingdom's diverse economy.

The tourism industry in Saudi Arabia is constantly progressing towards being one of the key sources of the Kingdom’s diverse economy, thanks to significant expenditures in entertainment and tourism infrastructure, as well as the use of natural beauty.

Due to its significant contribution to the economic transformation and diversification plan by the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, tourism will offer opportunities for a variety of jobs and commercial growth.

It will do this by increasing the rates at which it attracts internal and external investments and by creating job opportunities for both male and female citizens in light of the diversification of the country’s economic base.

The Kingdom’s tourist industry had notably strong figures for the Saudi economy. In 2023, it brought in 100 million visitors—77 million domestic and 27 million foreign—who spent 100 billion riyals.

This accomplishment is in line with Vision 2030s overarching plan to reach 150 million visitors, 80 million of whom will come from Saudi Arabia and 70 million from elsewhere. In pursuit of this goal, the Kingdom trained over 100,000 youth, including 15,000 who attended the world’s top educational institutions, to learn how to enter the tourist industry while pursuing pay increases via the Human Resources Development Fund website.


Adding Extra Rooms

By 2030, the number of hotel rooms—which includes hotel flats—is predicted to expand to 403 thousand, from 128 thousand (a 215% increase) in hotels with five stars or fewer.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to reports, has already granted over 3,500 tourism investment licenses, with Saudi enterprises have recently received grants totalling tens of thousands more.

In order to support these initiatives, the Kingdom also established a tourism fund, which will inject hundreds of billions into the Saudi Arabian tourism industry, creating about a million jobs directly and indirectly by 2030.

This is because the Kingdom boasts an unparalleled variety of religious sites, as well as a unique geographic landscape that alternates between plains, mountains, deserts, and forests in the south.

Under the framework of Vision 2030 goals to reach a contribution rate of up to 10% of the national product, create one million jobs and business opportunities, and reach 150 million visits, all of these indicators show keeping up with the current support and development the sector is experiencing.


Seven Sites

With the registration of the Uruq Bani Mu’arid Protected Area, the number of UNESCO World Heritage List sites in the Kingdom rose to seven in 2023. China recently authorised travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from China.

In addition to the declaration of the first phase of the Red Sea destination’s opening and the start of visitor reception, the Gulf Cooperation Council nations’ acceptance of the unified tourist visa project was also announced. Al-Ula not only established “Fly Red Sea,” the country’s first maritime airline, but it also won the 2023 Middle East Cultural Tourism Project of the Year award.


Specialised Companies

The Public Investment Fund also announced the creation of the Saudi Tourism Investment Company (Asfar), which aims to develop tourism projects in different cities throughout the Kingdom and create appealing destinations in the hospitality, entertainment, retail, and food sectors. Additionally, the Fund announced the creation of the “Dan” Company, which specialises in developing tourism projects in rural and environmental areas.

Numerous tourism and hotel developments have been unveiled in the enchanting destination of NEOM, situated on the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba. These include Siranna, Ebikon Hotel, Norlana, and Otamo, as well as the Liga project, which boasts three luxurious hotels situated amid a breathtaking environment on mountains that rise to a height of 400 metres.


A Rise in Visa Applications

The Ministry of Tourism declared in 2023 that it will now grant visit visas to six additional nations, bringing the total number of nations that may receive a Saudi tourist visa to 63. In addition, it introduced the first-ever transit visa, granting travellers and tourists 96 hours of entry into the Kingdom through Saudi Airlines or Flynas.‫