Saudi Arabia aims at fully developing the potential of tourism sector


RIYADH – Saudi Arabia’s travel and tourism sector has helped maintain solid national economic growth amidst the protracted global financial crisis.

The Saudi tourism market generates around 52 billion Saudi riyals ($13.9bn) in annual revenues, with export earnings from international travellers and tourism services expected to bring in 239bn riyals towards 2019.

Despite being one of the 22 highest inbound markets in the world, the kingdom aims at fully developing the potential of its tourism sector.

Several trade events are already being lined up to encourage regional and international investors and exhibitors to explore the numerous prospects available within the thriving Saudi travel and tourism market.

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), the national authority responsible for the planning and development of domestic tourism, will lead government efforts to promote more inbound travel this year by organising the 3rd Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market (STTIM).

“As the largest economy in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has the necessary resources to expand travel and tourism as major income generators,” said Riyadh Exhibitions Company deputy general manager Mohammed Al Hussaini.

“There are still numerous development opportunities available in areas such as Al Wajh, Assir, Al Qassim, and Hail, to name a few.

“One of the government’s priorities is to increase the regional and global visibility of the kingdom’s tourism and hospitality offerings.

“The SCTA’s annual STTIM is an excellent platform to achieve this goal.”

Saudi Arabia’s inbound tourism has increased 11 per cent over the past two years.

Travel and tourism combined to contribute 7.2pc or around 102bn riyals of the kingdom’s GDP last year.