Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranked 13th globally, advancing by 12 places on the World Tourism Organization (WTO) index, as one of the top countries receiving international tourists in 2022, compared to the 25th place in 2019.

The number of international tourists who visited the Kingdom, for all travel purposes, hit 16.6 million in 2022, WTO reported.

The Kingdom also advanced 16 places in the international tourism revenue index, achieving 11th place in 2022, compared to 27th place in 2019 globally, according to the World Tourism Barometer report for May 2023 issued by the WTO.

The Kingdom continued to make progress in its tourism sector, as it received about 7.8 million international tourists for all purposes during the first quarter of 2023, representing its highest quarterly performance, up 64% compared to the same period in 2019. The country also reached second on the list of the fastest-growing tourism destinations during this period, according to the latest data from WTO.

The Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, confirmed that this achievement is an addition to the other successes of the Kingdom in various fields and as a culmination of the directives of the wise leadership -- represented by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince -- to continue enhancing the Kingdom's position on the global tourism map, and raising its contribution to the gross domestic product under the Kingdom's Vision 2030.

He pointed out that facilitating travel visa procedures, planning promotional campaigns in the target countries, and the diversity of tourism destinations in the Kingdom were among the reasons for these achievements.

The Minister of Tourism stressed that the ministry will renew its cooperation with partners from the public and private sectors to push toward transforming the Kingdom into a global tourism hub.

The Kingdom had accomplished a new achievement within the Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF), marking the 33rd position globally, advancing ten ranks compared to 2019.