Over 100 Million Tourists visited Saudi Arabia in 2023

Al Qurayyah

The Saudi Tourism Authority has announced the biggest numbers in reshaping its travel and hospitality sector. While Vision 2030 aims at 150 million visitors by 2030, Saudi Arabia has already received an overwhelming response of 100 million tourists in 2023. This remarkable achievement was recognized by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), creating a more solid foundation for the next tourism milestones. 

An incredible 27 million international and 77 million domestic visitors arrived in the Kingdom — a 12% rise compared to 2022. Even last year, there was a growth in international visitors, reaching 27.4 million compared to previous years. 

How has the Tourism Authority Responded?

“This announcement demonstrates the scale of our transformation since the National Tourism Strategy was launched five years ago. Tourism is a key pillar in the nation’s economic transformation under Vision 2030, creating jobs and revenue for the Kingdom. Our aim is to enrich the experiences of tourists, diversify options for both local and international visitors, and enhance hospitality facilities along with other services provided.” said H.E. Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb.

Tourism is going to be one of the biggest assets in the Kingdom’s economy. In total, visitors in Saudi Arabia have churned out $67 billion, which accounts for 4% of GDP and 7% of its non-oil GDP. This growing importance of tourism is because of Saudi Arabia’s visionary reformations and investments in opening the doors to tourists from around the world. The tourism sector is flourishing and becoming a cornerstone in employment generation and KSA’s overall reputation. Moreover, the Middle East has witnessed the fastest tourism recovery after the pandemic. It’s the only region that’s doing even better than before the pandemic, with a staggering 122% increase in tourist arrivals in 2023 compared to 2019 — and guess what Saudi Arabia is the key driver.

The authorities have focused on revamping infrastructure, transport, and communication to make all places a little more accessible for international tourists. 

How to Visit Saudi Arabia?

Anyone thrilled to explore the country’s hidden gems and heritage sites must apply for a visa beforehand. A Saudi visa for UAE residents is now available in eVisa format, depending on their nationality. If you are a UAE citizen, you don’t need a visa just like other GCC residents.

With a focus on further development and a new target of 150 million visitors by 2030, Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector is poised for continued growth and transformation.

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