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Press Dossier    By Date   27/03/2024 Saudi Arabia aiming to be a top 10 global tourist destination in 2024: minister

Arab News, Wed, Mar 27, 2024 | Ramadan 17, 1445

​​Saudi Arabia aiming to be a top 10 global tourist destination in 2024: minister

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia aspires to rank among the top 10 most successful countries in tourism this year, says the sector’s minister. 

Speaking during the Manafea Forum in Madinah, Ahmed Al-Khateeb outlined that the Kingdom is equipped with the capabilities and requirements to achieve this milestone, according to a statement by the ministry. 

He demonstrated this fact by noting that by the end of 2023, the sector contributed to approximately 5 percent of the gross domestic product, with the aim of raising the figure to 10 percent by 2030. 

Al-Khateeb further outlined that the Kingdom currently holds 940,000 jobs in the tourism and hospitality fields and aspires to provide 1 million positions by 2030.

The minister’s comments reflect Saudi Arabia’s National Tourism Strategy, which aims to attract over 150 million visitors by 2030.

The Kingdom considers developing the tourism and entertainment sectors a crucial part of its Vision 2030 initiative, as it diversifies its economy away from oil revenues. 

During his remarks, Al-Khateeb highlighted the Tourism Investment Enablers program, which seeks to achieve these objectives through empowering the private sector and streamlining the investment process.

He said: “At the Ministry of Tourism, we were keen to make the legislation regulating the tourism sector characterized by ease, flexibility and clarity, and we introduced new licenses with regard to guest facilities and hospitality.”

He highlighted that 100,000 Saudi nationals are trained annually in order to qualify them for positions in the field, and further underscored that the budget for training programs at home and abroad exceeds SR375 million($99.9 million) per year.

Furthermore, Al-Khateeb outlined that the ministry is “keen” to enrich the visitor experience by adequately preparing all historical sites and archaeological monuments. 

To fulfill this goal, the Tourism Development Fund has financed more than 50 projects, the minister said. 

With $4 billion in capital, TDF, established in June 2020, aims to facilitate local and international investors’ access to high-potential tourism investments across key destinations in Saudi Arabia.

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