Saudi Arabia Surpasses 100 Million Tourists in 2023, Achieving Goal Seven Years Ahead of Schedule

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia announced that the number of tourists in 2023 has exceeded 100 million, reaching this milestone seven years ahead of the initial plan.

Over 27 million international tourists and more than 79 million domestic tourists contributed to a spending of over 67 billion US dollars. Among these, the growth in international tourists alone was 65% compared to the previous year, accounting for 37 billion US dollars of the spending. The number of hotels across the country has also increased. In 2023, tourist spending accounted for more than 4% of the GDP and 7% of the non-oil GDP.

As part of its efforts to develop industries independent of oil, Saudi Arabia has made tourism a key pillar, investing over 800 billion US dollars. The tourism sector employs approximately 925,000 people, aiming to increase the number of tourists to 150 million by 2030, thereby making it the second largest industry.

For Japanese nationals entering the country, an e-visa, on-arrival visa, or transit stopover visa is required. Using Saudia airline, passengers are offered a transit stopover visa and a one-night hotel stay. Although there are no direct flights between Japan and Saudi Arabia, a framework has been established for flights between Narita Airport and Saudi Arabia in December 2023. H.I.S., a Japanese travel company, has opened a branch in Riyadh, marking a step towards improving the reception of Japanese tourists.

On March 3rd, a celebratory event will be hosted in Riyadh, attended by Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb, Deputy Minister of Tourism Haifa Bint Mohammed Al Saud, and tourism stakeholders.

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