Saudi tourism sector up for major growth

Published on : Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Saudi tourismBy 2026, the travel and tourism sector of Saudi Arabia is expected to contribute over $81 billion to the country’s GDP. This is according to a data from the WTTC. At this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which is to be held in the Dubai World Trade Center from April 23-27, exhibitors are planning to display what the Kingdom has to offer. Number of local trips inside Saudi exceeded 47.5 million last year, which was a 2.3% increase compared to 2015. Plans are going on for increasing domestic spending on cultural and entertainment activities inside the country.

To quote Simon Press, senior exhibition director, ATM 2017, “Plans are already well underway to achieve this target. The government has appointed the board of the General Entertainment Authority, and Six Flags has revealed exciting plans to expand into the country, with the first entertainment park scheduled to open as soon as 2020-21. Vision 2030 also seeks to double the number of UNESCO heritage sites to encourage more domestic tourism, while both Holy Mosques have large expansion plans, with have major infrastructure works underway or in the pipeline that would assist with travel to and within these religious sites.”

Exhibitors at the ATM will showcase Saudi’s tourism offerings and what developments are in the pipeline. Besides the Six Flags theme park, Riyadh is also expected to see the opening of two major shopping malls, a large snow park and hotels. Another mega project that is bound to attract Saudi tourists is the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, proposed to be the world’s next tallest building.


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