Saudi Vision 2030: Exceeding Expectations with 100 Million Tourists

The Saudi Ministry of Tourism announced today that Saudi Arabia has achieved a remarkable milestone by welcoming over 100 million tourists in 2023, surpassing its 2030 target seven years ahead of schedule. This achievement has positioned Saudi Arabia as a leading global tourism destination and underscores its emergence as a tourism powerhouse on the world stage. Encouraged by this success, the Kingdom now aims to attract 150 million tourists by the year 2030.

Both the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) have extended their congratulations to Saudi Arabia for exceeding one of its key objectives outlined in the SaudiVision2030 initiative. This remarkable accomplishment reflects the collaborative efforts, innovative strategies, and clear vision for the future that Saudi Arabia has demonstrated in the tourism sector.

The ministry revealed that the total number of tourists, comprising both domestic and international visitors, reached 106.2 million in 2023. This marks a substantial 56 per cent increase over the figures recorded in 2019 and a notable 12 per cent surge compared to 2022. Specifically, international tourists numbered 27.4 million, reflecting a 56 per cent increase over 2019 and a remarkable 65 per cent rise compared to 2022.

Saudi Arabia’s achievement of welcoming over 100 million tourists in 2023 has been hailed by UNWTO as a testament to what can be achieved through collaboration, innovation, and a forward-looking vision. As Saudi Arabia continues its journey towards attracting 150 million tourists by 2030, UN Tourism reaffirms its commitment to supporting the Kingdom, celebrating its successes, and advocating for a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive global tourism sector.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that both international and domestic tourists collectively spent more than 250 billion Saudi riyals ($67 billion) in 2023, contributing over 4 per cent to the Kingdom’s total GDP and 7 per cent to its non-oil GDP.

Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb attributed the significant increase in tourist numbers to the National Tourism Strategy launched five years ago. He emphasized that the tourism ecosystem continues to align with the national tourism strategy, focusing on developing diverse tourist destinations, enriching visitor experiences, and enhancing hospitality facilities and services for both local and international tourists.

In summary, Saudi Arabia’s achievement of surpassing 100 million tourists in 2023 represents a historic milestone and a significant step towards establishing itself as a global tourism hub. With ambitious targets set for the future, Saudi Arabia is poised to further enhance its position in the global tourism landscape while contributing to the sustainable development of the sector.