The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) estimates that tourism revenues in the Kingdom will reach by the end of 2010 about SR66 billion (US$17.6 billion), which compromises a growth rate of 4.76 percent from 2009. The same is expected to reach a total of SR118 billion (US$31.5 billion) in 2015, and SR232 billion (US$61.9 billion) in 2020.
Dr. Salah al-Bakhit, vice president-investments for SCTA, delivered a presentation entitled, “Stimulating the Investment Environment of Tourism in the Kingdom,” during the Cityscape exhibition, which was launched in Jeddah on July 6, 2010. He pointed out that the estimated income for the transport sector will increase to SR30 billion (US$8 billion) in 2010, up by 8 percent from 2009, while revenues of food and beverage establishments will go up to SR36 billion (US$9.6 billion) in 2010 witnessing a growth rate of 9 percent from 2009.
Dr. Al Bakhit stressed that direct employment in various tourism sectors will reach 457,658 posts in 2010 while it was 333,125 in 2000 – an upswing by 37 percent, with annual growth of 7.4 percent.
“The number of Saudis employed in the tourism sectors reached 117,384 in 2009 from 66,704 in 2000, growing by 60 percent with an annual growth rate of 12 percent. The Saudization percentage in general stands at 26 percent in the tourism sector,” said Dr. Al Bakhit, highlighting an important aspect of the tourism sector in the Kingdom. The vice president of investment added that the commission seeks, through its next steps, to set up a company for tourism development (holding company) to identify tourism investment opportunities, as well as establishing tourism development companies in new tourism locations in partnership with public and private sectors.