Saudi Arabia to see increased visitors by 2024

Published on : Thursday, February 13, 2020

A new research has revealed that visitors to Saudi Arabia are expected to increase 38% from 15.5 million in 2019 to 21.3 million by 2024. The research was commissioned by Arabian Travel Market (2020), which would take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 19-22 April this year.


This increased demand is expected to be driven by an increasing number of GCC residents aiming to visit the kingdom on short city or mini breaks. It will also be boosted by business travelers extending their work trips for exploring the Kingdom’s unique tourism offerings or for attending one of the many sporting or cultural events.


Supporting this trend, the research revealed that more than 21.3 million visitors are estimated to visit Saudi Arabia by 2024.


Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “As Saudi Arabia continues to reduce its reliance on oil, increasing tourism arrivals is becoming instrumental in the country’s economic diversification, and at ATM, we are witnessing this growth firsthand, with the total number of exhibitors from the Kingdom increasing 45% year-on-year between 2018 and 2019. With an ambition to increase inbound tourism to 100 million by 2030, Saudi Arabia no longer wants to be viewed as solely a religious destination for the world’s Muslim community, or a corporate destination as one of the richest countries in the world. It has an incredible landscape, with diverse regions and an array of tourism offerings for leisure travelers.”


Along with growing tourism numbers, the global hotel industry is also taking a renewed interest in Saudi Arabia with a number of international and regional brands looking to increase their presence across the Kingdom. 79,864 hotel rooms are expected to be added to the Kingdom’s existing inventory by 2025, with the majority of rooms (34,270) in Makkah, followed by Jeddah and Riyadh with 14,525 and 11,632 new rooms, respectively.
By introducing the new tourist visa, which allows visitors from 49 countries to apply for an e-visa or receive a visa on arrival, Saudi Arabia has developed a two-phase tourism strategy in line with Vision 2030.


Phase one – 2019-2022 – will focus on attracting first-time visitors to discover Saudi Arabia especially – its pristine beaches, deserts, mountains and heritage sites such as Dir’iyah as well as its packed calendar of sporting and cultural events. Phase two – 2022-onwards – will focus on the full development of giga projects like NEOM and the Red Sea Project.


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