The Saudi Ministry of Tourism participated in the 46th Annual NYU International Hospitality Investment Conference (June 2-4), held in New York, and highlighted the kingdom's development and vast investment opportunities in the tourism sector.

Mahmoud Abdulhadi, Deputy Minister of Tourism Destination Enablement, delivered a keynote address at the conference, which served as a platform for Saudi Arabia to share insights about its transformative journey towards becoming a premier global tourism destination, while diversifying its economy.

He presented insights on developing new destinations, and how international investors can benefit from the opportunities created.

The ‘Invest Saudi & Prosper in Tourism’ Networking Lunch, hosted by the ministry, offered insights into Saudi Arabia's investment potential under Vision 2030. It also detailed the government’s support for investors through the Tourism Investment Enablers Program (TIEP), which focuses on enhancing the ease and cost of doing business in the tourism sector, providing incentives, and opening up this untapped market.

The TIEP is designed to lower investment barriers, reduce government fees by 22%, and offer significant incentives. The programme includes the flagship Hospitality Investment Enablers (HIE) initiative, which aims to generate $11.2 billion in private-sector investments and create 120,000 jobs in identified tourism destinations with high potential.

Abdulhadi said: "Saudi Arabia stands at the threshold of an unprecedented transformation in its tourism sector, offering unparalleled opportunities for investors.

“Our commitment to Vision 2030 is not just a blueprint for development; it's an open invitation for global partners to be part of a historic journey.

“By investing in Saudi Arabia, you are investing in a future where innovation, culture, and hospitality converge to create extraordinary experiences.”

Gloria Guevara Manzo, Chief Special Advisor at the Ministry of Tourism, Saudi Arabia, took part in a fireside chat titled, ‘The Travel and Tourism Trends Driving the Market’. The session examined the trends that hospitality investors and other stakeholders need to consider to drive their strategies, providing valuable insights into the evolving landscape of global tourism.

The discussions underscored Saudi Arabia’s significant strides in the tourism sector, notably attracting 100 million international visitors in 2023, seven years ahead of schedule, and its new target of 150 million tourists.

Saudi Arabia rose nine places to 41st in the World Economic Forum's Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024, demonstrating the impact of its strategic investments and robust regulatory framework.

With an investment of $800 billion into its tourism sector, Saudi Arabia has created 1.6 million job opportunities and added 500,000 hotel rooms. These investments are driving the kingdom’s economic and social transformation, focusing on developing cultural sites, sports venues, theme parks, and nature reserves.

Additionally, the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts to simplify the e-visa process for 66 countries is expected to further boost tourism inflows and investment opportunities. –

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