The Saudi Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Al-Khatib, said that the ministry is intensifying its efforts and preparation to launch the summer season campaign for this year, as all sectors have completed their preparations for a strong and attractive tourism season, for which more than 600 million riyals have been allocated to introduce tourist destinations in the Kingdom.
The minister added, during the Minister of Tourism’s monthly meeting with investors in the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia, that the growth rate of total domestic tourism spending in the first quarter of this year amounted to 45% compared to the first quarter of 2022.
This was supported by the strong start of inbound tourism this year, and the achievement of the highest quarterly number of tourists from outside Saudi Arabia for all purposes, estimated at (7.8 million), with a growth rate of 64% compared to the first quarter of 2019. The development of visas and the facilitation of their procedures contributed to The promotion and distribution efforts in the target countries, as well as increasing the demand for Umrah, contribute to achieving these results,” according to the minister.
In terms of incoming tourists, their percentage increased in the first quarter of this year for the purpose of entertainment and holidays by 581% compared to the first quarter of 2019 AD; This is a result of the electronic visa facilities and the increase in the tourist supply in the Kingdom’s destinations, according to “Okaz” newspaper.
The percentage of tourist visitors from the Gulf countries and the Middle East also achieved a growth of 107% compared to 2019, while the growth rate in the number of tourists from East Asia reached 49% (especially Indonesia and Malaysia), while the percentage reached 50% for those coming from European countries, especially Turkey and France. Russia, Italy and Germany.
In terms of the turnout of visitors from outside the Kingdom, Makkah Al-Mukarramah topped the destinations with 4.4 million tourists, and Riyadh came in second place in terms of the number of tourists due to the increase in those coming on tourist visas and those coming to visit family and friends, while Dammam and Al-Khobar achieved an increase in the total number of tourists by 96. % for the first quarter of 2019; Due to the increase in the number of visitors from Bahrain and Qatar for the purposes of entertainment and visiting family and friends.
Significant growth was observed in Jeddah by 247% due to the increase in tourist visitors for the purpose of entertainment and visiting family and friends, while Al-Ahsa topped the growth rate compared to the first quarter of 2019 with a growth rate of 419% with the return of tourism movement with Qatar, and due to the increase in the number of tourist visitors from other Gulf countries. .