Saudi Arabia's international arrival numbers fully recovered

Saudi Arabia's international arrival numbers fully recovered

According to UNWTO report, the kingdom recorded 156% growth last year compared to 2019

Saudi Arabia recorded 156% growth in international arrivals in 2023 compared to pre-pandemic 2019, according to a new report by UNWTO.

The kingdom’s recovery is highlighted in the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Barometer report released in January 2024.   

Globally, the tourism sector is steadily rebounding. By the end of 2023, the global average in international arrivals reached 12% below pre-pandemic levels, hitting 1.3 billion.  

The sector's international revenues neared US$1.3 trillion, reaching 93% of the 2019 figure of US$1.5 trillion. The direct contribution of tourism to the global GDP was estimated at 3%, or US$3.3 trillion, in 2023, based on the UNWTO's preliminary indicators.

The UNWTO forecasts a complete recovery of global tourism by 2024, with an expected growth of 2% compared to 2019. 

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Saudi Arabia's tourism sector stands out in the UNWTO reports, leading the G20 nations in the growth rate of international arrivals in 2023 and ranked 2nd as the world's fastest-growing tourist destination for Q1-Q3 2023. 

Saudi has seen remarkable growth in various tourist destinations, achieving a record in international visitor spending. The first three quarters of 2023 recorded an international visitor spending exceeding 100 billion Saudi riyals, according to the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA).

Strategically enhancing its appeal to international tourists, the kingdom now offers a variety of striking destinations, including AlUla, Diriyah, Yanbu and Abha, and in 2024, it is set to host prominent events such as the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Diriyah E-Prix and big-ticket boxing matches.

In line with Saudi Vision 2030, the Ministry of Tourism is committed to the ongoing development of the sector, further strengthening its contribution to the national economy.

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