156% increase in international visitors to Saudi Arabia's tourism sector by 2023

Financials Author: EqualOcean News Jan 22, 2024 10:23 PM (GMT+8)

EqualOcean accessed the latest barometer report released by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 2024, which shows that Saudi Arabia received a 156% increase in international tourists in 2023, surpassing the level before the 2019 epidemic. Data from the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia (SAMA) shows that international tourists spent more than SAR 100 billion in Saudi Arabia, with the international tourism balance growing by 72% compared to 2022, realizing a surplus of SAR 37.8 billion in the first three quarters of 2023.

This remarkable recovery has boosted Saudi Arabia's economic growth, making it the growth pole of the Middle East's tourism renaissance, with international tourist arrivals growing by more than the global average of 88%, leading to a 122% increase in international tourist arrivals for the Middle East region as a whole, and realizing the momentum of a strong recovery.

The global tourism industry is steadily rebounding. at the end of 2023, the global average international tourist arrivals were 12% below epidemic levels, reaching around 1.3 billion. International revenues from tourism are approaching US$1.3 trillion, reaching 93% of the 2019 figure of US$1.5 trillion. According to preliminary indicators from the World Tourism Organization, the direct contribution of tourism to global GDP in 2023 is estimated at 3%, or $3.3 trillion.

In 2024, the Saudi Ministry of Tourism expects to maintain strong growth momentum, highlighting several destinations such as AlUla, Diriyah, Yanbu and Abha. Important events such as the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, Diriyah ePrix, World Class Boxing, Jeddah Tourism Season, Riyadh Tourism Season and the Biennale will also be held in the Middle East to enhance Saudi Arabia's international appeal and provide plenty of opportunities for international investors in the tourism industry. The Ministry of Tourism also invites tourists and investors from around the world to explore the rich and varied experiences that Saudi Arabia has to offer through the 'Visit Saudi' platform.

Looking ahead, the United Nations World Tourism Organization predicts that by 2024, global tourism will have recovered from the impact of the epidemic and is expected to grow by 2% compared to 2019.