Tourist Visa Attracts 115 Billion Riyals as Kingdom Welcomes Visitors from Around the World

Tourist Visa Attracts 115 Billion Riyals as Kingdom Welcomes Visitors from Around the World

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Friday night announced launching the e-tourist visa, welcoming visitors from all over the world. The announcement came during a ceremony held by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).

The ceremony, which coincided with the World Tourism Day, was attended by Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili and President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council Gloria Guevara, in addition to a number of tourism makers and international investors. 

His Excellency Mr. Ahmed bin Aqil Al Khateeb, chairman of the SCTH board of directors, delivered a speech during the ceremony, in which he said the Kingdom in this historic moment opens its doors to the world, noting “we are hospitable people who welcome and honor their visitors, who will witness the importance of hospitality, beauty of nature and cultural depth in the Kingdom.”

“Today we not only welcome visitors, but also investors in the sector and business men and women, as there are big opportunities available to invest in the sector’s fields. Thus, we achieve the 2030 vision under the leadership of my King, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, may Allah preserve them,” Al Khateeb said.

He added, “I am glad to announce attracting 115 billion riyals so far, which indicate the world’s trust in the Saudi market’s strength and its potential.”

Since the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030, the SCTH worked hard to make the Kingdom an international tourist destination, which was in line with the implementation of big tourism projects at the time and the endorsement of regulations that encourage investment in the sector, Al Khateeb​ explained, noting that the regulations include the Cabinet’s endorsement of the general strategy for tourism development.

The tourist sites in Saudi Arabia registered in UNESCO’s World Heritage list represent only part of the Kingdom’s rich cultural heritage and marvelous destinations, the chairman of the board said, noting there are over 10,000 historical sites in the Kingdom, which also represent promising investment opportunities.

In light of the announcement, all countries in the world can now issue a tourist visa to the Kingdom, where in the first phase the citizens of 49 countries will be able to obtain the visa online through the website or upon arrival to the Kingdom. 

Under the national tourism strategy, the Kingdom will receive 100 million visitors annually by 2030, while at present it receives 41 million.

By 2030 also, the Kingdom will be among the top five countries in regards to the number of tourists and visits with revenues reaching 10% of the gross national income, which currently stands at 3%. The sector will also provide an additional million jobs by then to the current 600,000 existing jobs in the tourism sector.