Record spending of international visitors improves Saudi Arabia's tourism sector


(MENAFN) Preliminary data from the Saudi Central Bank reveals a historic milestone for Saudi Arabia's tourism industry, as spending by international visitors soared to unprecedented levels in 2023. According to the data, visitors from abroad splurged a staggering 135 billion riyals (approximately 36 billion dollars), marking the highest expenditure ever recorded in the country's history. This remarkable figure represents a remarkable growth rate of 42.8 percent compared to the previous year, signaling a robust expansion in the tourism sector.

Notably, Saudi Arabia emerged as a frontrunner in the global tourism landscape, securing the top spot on the United Nations Tourism list for the growth rate of international tourists in 2023 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. The kingdom achieved an impressive 56 percent increase in the number of arriving tourists in 2023, a testament to its growing appeal as a tourist destination. This accolade was corroborated by the barometer report released by the United Nations Tourism in January 2024, highlighting Saudi Arabia's remarkable strides in the tourism sector.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia's tourism achievements garnered widespread acclaim from esteemed international bodies such as the World Tourism Organization (UN Tourism) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Both organizations commended the kingdom's remarkable feat of attracting over 100 million tourists, both domestic and international, during the year 2023. This recognition underscores the significant efforts and investments made by Saudi Arabia to develop and promote its tourism sector, positioning it as a key player in the global travel market.

Overall, the surge in spending by international visitors reflects Saudi Arabia's growing stature as a premier tourist destination, driven by its diverse attractions, cultural heritage, and strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing the tourism experience. As the kingdom continues to invest in infrastructure and promote tourism initiatives, it is poised to further solidify its position as a top contender in the global tourism landscape.

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