The Saudi Minister of Tourism highlighted his statements at the conference held by the Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia, discussing the Kingdom's vision for tourism and the massive planned investments in this sector.
Current Tourism Statistics:
Tourism in the Kingdom recorded 93 million visits last year, distributed as 77 million domestic visits and 16 million international visits.
Future Tourism Goals:
The goal is to reach more than 100 million domestic and international visitors for leisure tourism, and 42 million visitors for religious tourism, by the end of the decade, according to the Expo 2030 candidacy presentation.
Future Visit Expectations:
The minister pointed out during the seminar that Vision 2030 focused on increasing the sector's contribution to the Gross Domestic Product from 3% to about 10%, which requires attracting 100 million domestic and international visitors. The minister believes that by the end of this year, the number will approach 100 million visits, and the sector's contribution to the GDP will approach 6%. Therefore, the Saudi Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, directed to raise the sector's targets to 150 million annual visits by 2030.
Global Impact on Tourism:
Al-Khatib stated that the growth of the middle class, especially in China and India, will encourage more tourism.
Diversity in Tourism Products:
The minister emphasized the importance of diversity in tourism products, so it's not limited to religious and entertainment tourism but also includes cultural, historical, and environmental tourism.
Tourism Sector Investments:
Al-Khatib emphasized the massive scale of Saudi investments in the sector, indicating that in the next ten years, Saudi Arabia will be the largest country investing in the sector globally. He pointed out that it invested about 800 billion dollars in the sector.
Commitment of the Government and the Private Sector:
There are more investments to come in the future, according to the minister. Once the local and global private sector realizes that the government is committed to opening the sector and maximizing its value, they will come to invest in the country.
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