Saudi Arabia intends to develop its tourism sector to receive 100 million annual visitors by 2030, local media reported.
“Our strategy is to grow tourism from 3 per cent to 10 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product, and to increase visitor numbers from 18 million a year to 100 million by 2030,” said Ahmad Al-Khateeb, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, at a G20 tourism ministers meet in Japan.
“This will, in turn, provide a total of 1.5 million jobs or 10 per cent of the total workforce, predominantly among the young. We are committed to working with our partners across the tourism ecosystem to achieve these goals while protecting the economic, environmental and social well-being of the local communities affected by tourism,” he added.
The tourism strategy is aligned with the kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals to diversify its economy.
Saudi’s Red Sea project received a nod from its board of directors earlier this year. The massive 28,000 square kilometres project, initially announced in 2017, will target regional and international luxury travellers.
This year, Saudi Arabia received close to 2.5 million Muslims for the Hajj pilgrimage, the largest annual gathering of Muslims worldwide.