Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Foreign tourist spending in Saudi Arabia hits record $36bn

Saudi Arabia has set a new record for spending by foreign visitors in 2023 with such expenditure reaching SAR135 billion (around $36 billion), as per preliminary data from the Saudi Central Bank.

The figure represents a growth rate of 42.8 percent compared to 2022 and marks the highest expenditure by foreign visitors in the kingdom’s history, a Saudi Press Agency report said.

The historic surge in spending is in line with a series of ongoing successes in the kingdom’s tourism sector, it said.

In 2023, the kingdom led the United Nations Tourism list for the growth rate of international tourists compared to 2019, achieving a remarkable 56 percent increase in tourist arrivals. Additionally, the United Nations Tourism Barometer report in January 2024 indicated a 156 percent recovery in the kingdom’s tourist arrivals in 2023 compared to 2019.

Moreover, the kingdom garnered international acclaim from the World Tourism Organization (UN Tourism) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for hosting over 100 million domestic and international tourists in 2023. Both organisations commended the tremendous efforts of the kingdom’s tourism sector, it said.

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