HomeSaudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia Attracts $13 Billion in Private Investments to Boost Tourism Sector

Saudi Arabia Attracts $13 Billion in Private Investments to Boost Tourism Sector

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Riyadh, March 15, 2024: Saudi Arabia has secured a staggering $13 billion in private-sector investments to bolster its burgeoning tourism industry. 

Princess Haifa Al-Saud, the Kingdom’s vice minister for tourism, disclosed this strategic move, which underscores Saudi Arabia’s commitment to diversifying its economy and reducing dependency on oil revenue.

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The investments are anticipated to facilitate the addition of 150,000 to 200,000 hotel rooms over the next two years, marking a significant expansion in the hospitality sector. 

Princess Haifa revealed these developments in an exclusive interview with Bloomberg, expressing the Kingdom’s ambitious goal of elevating tourism revenue to $85 billion for the current fiscal year, a notable increase from the $66 billion recorded in 2023.

“The current GDP contribution from tourism stands at 4.5 per cent, and we aim to escalate that figure to 10 per cent by 2030,” Princess Haifa asserted. “Since opening our doors to tourism, we have witnessed remarkable growth, starting from a modest 3.2 per cent.”

Saudi Arabia’s tourism ambitions align closely with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s broader economic diversification strategy. 

This blueprint entails transitioning revenue streams from traditional sectors, like oil, to emerging domains, such as sports and technology. 

With a vision to attract 150 million tourists annually by 2030, the Kingdom has embarked on ambitious projects like Qiddiya, alongside ventures into industries like football, all in a bid to entice foreign visitors.

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Notably, Saudi Arabia stands as the sole bidder for hosting the 2034 FIFA World Cup, a testament to its burgeoning aspirations in the global tourism arena. 

In 2023, the Kingdom welcomed a staggering 100 million tourists, with the majority hailing from domestic locales. However, approximately 27 million international visitors arrived, predominantly motivated by religious or business reasons.

Despite the impressive influx of tourists, leisure excursions currently constitute a relatively small fraction of total travel, largely due to ongoing infrastructural developments. 

Nevertheless, the government remains resolute in its commitment to the tourism sector, with plans to attract $80 billion in private investments by 2030 and a projected expenditure of $800 billion over the next decade.

In a significant development, Saudi Arabia’s hospitality sector revised its 2030 target to accommodate 150 million visitors, a substantial increase from the initial aim of 100 million. 

Minister of Tourism Al-Khateeb confirmed this revision, stating, “I think we will close this year with about 100 million visitors and almost 6 per cent of contribution to the gross domestic product; that’s why Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman instructed us to revise up our targets to 150 million.”

Under the revised target, an estimated 75 million international travelers are expected to contribute to the influx, alongside an equal number of domestic tourists, signaling the Kingdom’s commitment to nurturing both local and global tourism.

As Saudi Arabia continues to position itself as a premier destination on the global tourism map, these latest developments underscore the Kingdom’s unwavering dedication to fostering economic growth, job creation, and cultural exchange through its burgeoning tourism sector. 

With private sector investments pouring in and ambitious targets set for the future, Saudi Arabia’s tourism journey promises to be one of transformative significance on the world stage.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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