RIYADH — Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib has said simplified visa procedures and diverse travel options and destinations in Saudi Arabia, along with promotion efforts in target countries, contributed positively to the country's tourism sector.

Al-Khateeb made the statement expressing appreciation to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who during the weekly Cabinet meeting cited the positive results achieved in the sector last year. Saudi Arabia's performance reflected positively on the World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO's) two indicators, namely the number of international tourists and tourism revenues for 2022.

These achievements reflect the followup and support of the Kingdom's leadership and their care to develop the tourism sector, and increase its GDP in accordance with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, and their keenness to strengthen its position in the global tourism map, he said,

Al-Khateeb confirmed that the Tourism Ministry will continue its efforts by cooperating with all the partners from both the government and private sectors to move forward in achieving the leaders' aspirations for making Saudi Arabia a global tourist destination.

According to a report issued by UNWTO, Saudi Arabia has made a great leap in the ranking of top countries receiving international tourists in 2022. It advanced 12 places to reach the 13th rank, compared to 2019 when it was placed 25th. The number of international tourists who visited Saudi Arabia for all travel purposes reached 16.6 million people last year.

Moreover, according to the World Tourism Barometer report for May 2023 issued by the WTO, the Kingdom advanced 16 places in the international tourism revenue index within three years, reaching 11th globally in 2022, compared to 27th in 2019.

Saudi Arabia has continued its international achievements in the tourism sector, as it has received about 7.8 million international tourists, for all travel purposes, during the Q1 of 2023, which represents the highest historical quarterly performance with a growth of 64%, compared to the same period in 2019.

Within this, the Kingdom achieved the second place among the fastest-growing tourism destinations during the period, according to the latest data from WTO.

Saudi Arabia earlier made a new achievement within the Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF). It has made a big leap by advancing 10 places at once to jump to 33rd place globally, compared to 2019.

© Copyright 2022 The Saudi Gazette. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).