Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector growth has seen a 121 percent increase from pre-pandemic levels as recognized by the UNWTO Tourism Barometer, according to a press release.
This sets Saudi Arabia to be the fastest-growing tourism destination in the G20. The nation rolled out vaccines to ensure high immunization rates quickly which lead to a swift lift of COVID restrictions and the restart of the tourism sector, according to a statement by the Saudi Tourism Authority.
The Saudi government also implemented a number of measures aimed at assisting businesses and employees in the tourism industry, to relieve the effects of the pandemic.
“Saudi opened to the world in September 2019 and through continued leadership and commitment, we have made incomparable progress toward realizing our ambitious Vision 2030 tourism goals. We are invested in a sustainable future for tourism, and today I am proud of Saudi’s position as the fastest growing tourism destination in the G20,” commented Ahmed Al Khateeb, minister of tourism, Saudi Arabia, and chairman, Board of Saudi Tourism Authority.
According to the UNWTO Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals nearly tripled from January to July 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. This means that the sector has recovered to nearly 60 percent of its pre-pandemic levels.
Tourism is key to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program, which has a goal to ensure that the sector contributes 10 percent of the country’s GDP by 2030, with the creation of over one million jobs in the coming years.