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Islamic Lifestyle

Tourists in Saudi Arabia spend $67bn in 2023

Saudi Arabia received more than 106 million tourists in 2023, who collectively spent in excess of 250 billion Saudi riyals ($66.7 billion). 

The kingdom received 79.3 million domestic tourists, up 2% year-on-year, while the number of international tourists reached 27.4 million, a 65% increase over 2022. 

 Overall tourist figures increased 12% year-on-year and were up 56% from 2019. 

The kingdom achieved the tourism milestone “seven years ahead of the initial goal”, Saudi’s tourism ministry said in a statement.

This has prompted the country to set a new target of welcoming 150 million tourists a year by the end of the decade.  

Tourism minister Ahmed Al Khateeb said that the announcement demonstrates the scale of transformation since the national tourism strategy was launched five years ago. 

Tourism is central to the country’s diversification plan to reduce its dependence on oil. Last month, the Saudi Tourism Authority launched a marketing campaign starring footballer heavyweight Lionel Messi, to dispel misconceptions about the country. The campaign targeted key markets of Europe, India and China. 

“The kingdom's success story is built on a foundation of strategic initiatives and reforms that have propelled its tourism sector to new heights,” the World Tourism Organization (UN Tourism) said. 

Demand for tourism activity licenses increased 390% last year, while contribution to non-oil gross value added exceeded an estimated 7%. The sector offered 925,000 jobs as of 2023, with the kingdom aiming to make tourism the second-largest employer by 2030. 


Saudi Arabia