RIYADH — Saudi Arabia has topped the United Nations Tourism ranking in terms of the growth of international tourist arrivals in 2023 compared to 2019 from among the countries hosting major tourism destinations.

Saudi Arabia recorded an increase of 56 percent in the number of incoming tourists in 2023 compared to 2019, according to the World Tourism Barometer report issued by the United Nations Tourism in January.

The report also indicated that the Kingdom has achieved a remarkable tourism recovery rate of 156 percent in the number of tourist arrivals during the year 2023 compared to 2019.

The outstanding achievements in the tourism sector have contributed to positioning Saudi Arabia as a leader in the Middle East region’s global recovery in the field of tourism. The Mideast region is the only region that surpassed pre-COVID-19 growth levels with a 122 percent recovery rate in the international tourist arrivals during the year 2023 compared to the year 2019.

According to the UN barometer report, several tourist destinations in the Kingdom had witnessed a noticeable increase in the number of inbound and domestic visitors during the year 2023.

Saudi Arabia also achieved a new record in the spending of inbound tourists and visitors, reaching more than SR100 billion for the first three quarters of the year 2023, according to the balance of payments data issued by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA).

These accomplishments reinforce the Kingdom’s position as a leading global tourist destination. The remarkable increase in the number of tourist arrivals reflects travelers' confidence in the Kingdom’s attractive tourism options and their diversity, the UN report pointed out

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