The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has set a new milestone in foreign visitor spending, reaching over 100 billion riyals ($26.7 billion) during the first three quarters of 2023, according to data released by the Saudi Central Bank, reported Al-Qabas Daily.
This achievement highlights the growing attractiveness of Saudi Arabia as a tourism destination. The balance of payments data also reveals a surplus in the travel sector, with an estimated 37.8 billion riyals ($10.1 billion) until the end of the third quarter of 2023. This represents a remarkable 72% increase compared to the same period in 2022.
Furthermore, tourism spending contributed to this surplus, reinforcing the positive impact of the sector on the economy. Looking ahead, Saudi Arabia aims to bolster the tourism sector’s contribution to the local economy by targeting an increased total volume of tourism spending of 289 billion riyals ($77.1 billion) in 2024. By doing so, the country hopes to reduce its dependence on oil revenues, support the private sector, and create more opportunities for economic growth.
The Saudi Ministry of Finance’s 2024 budget targets report outlines the goal of attracting 88 million visitors to the country. This ambitious target will not only help stimulate the tourism sector but also lead to improvements in infrastructure, including airports, road networks, and government services, as the demand for such facilities grows. Additionally, the influx of visitors is expected to contribute to the development and promotion of Saudi culture internationally.