According to a recent study conducted by the Center of Tourism Research and Information (MAS), the number of the Saudi kingdom’s inbound tourists during 2008 increased to more than 28.7 million tourists, spending more than SR 37.5 billion (over US$10 billion) during their tourism trips. On the other hand, 4 million outbound Saudi tourists spent SR 22.2 billion (over US$5.9 billion).
The tourism-added value in the kingdom’s GDP increased from SR 36.4 billion in 2004 to SR 47 billion in 2008, compromising 2.7 percent of the national GDP and 6.9 percent of the non-oil based industries. Moreover, the number of tourism establishments increased from 29,196 thousand in 2004 to 41,642 thousand in 2008.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Ahmed, the general manager of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities’s (SCTA) MAS, stated that Saudi tourism is thriving on all aspects, noting that the number of tourism human resources in the kingdom increased from 333,521 thousand in 2004 to 445,628 thousand.