Saudi tourism revenues reach SAR 37 billion amid travel boom

12/09/23

Saudi Arabia recorded tourist revenue of SAR 37 billion (almost USD 10 billion) as the sector witnessed a massive surplus due to an unprecedented travel boom in the Kingdom.

According to figures released by the Ministry of Tourism, Saudi Arabia welcomed 7.8 million visitors in the first quarter of this year. This figure was the highest globally recorded quarterly performance, achieving growth of 64% compared to the same period in 2019.

Moreover, financial data released by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) revealed the surplus was achieved due to significant growth of incoming tourism revenues of 225% year-on-year to reach SAR 37 billion (USD 9.9 billion). It also announced that payments amounted to SAR 22.8 billion (USD 6.08 billion), compared to a deficit of SAR 1.6 billion (USD 427 million) in the first quarter of 2022.

For this reason, this success is a culmination of the ministry’s efforts to boost the tourism sector in line with the objectives of the National Tourism Development Strategy. Consequently it has demonstrated an important contribution to the growth of the national economy and its diversification strategies.

Further data issued by SAMA confirmed the high contribution of the sector to the Current Account Balance. Most importantly, these improvements were reached due to continuous cooperation with all government agencies, applying best practices in tourism development and upgrading tourism services and products.

As a result and demonstrating the improvement, The Kingdom advanced 16 places in the international tourism revenue index, reaching 11th place in 2022 compared to 27th in 2019.

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