Saudi Arabia's Commission for Tourism and Antiquities released information indicating that Saudis are expected to spend around SAR 19.5 billion ($5.2 billion) on summer vacations this year, an 8% rise from last year's data.
The number of trips abroad should reach a whopping 6 million, while an estimated 4.8 million foreigners are expected to visit the kingdom, local newspaper The Saudi Gazette reported. Saudis will make 5.3 million trips internally over the summer months; internal tourism has increased by 5% thanks to recent marketing and tourism development efforts.
The destinations are interesting; with 45.5 percent of Saudi tourists visiting other GCC countries and 33.9 percent remaining within the confines of the Middle East; while another 9.9 percent reported visiting South Asian countries and 10.6 percent are venturing to Africa, America, or Eastern Asia. The benefits are not just for Saudis that are leaving the country.
There are 42 different festivals planned during the summer months to attract an estimated 10 million visitors, which altogether will create as many as 4,500 working opportunities and at least SAR 10 billion ($2.67 billion) in revenues. The economic benefits are not just for Saudi Arabia. A study earlier this year showed that Saudi tourists spend the most money abroad with an average of $6,666 total expenditure per trip.