Saudi Arabia is planning to build new hotels to add nearly 500,000 rooms to the existing hotel capacity to support its target of more than doubling the number of tourists by the end of its development strategy dubbed Vision-2030, the Gulf Kingdom's Tourism Minister was reported on Wednesday as saying.
Ahmed Al-Khatib said nearly 40 million people visited the Kingdom in 2019 and that the target is to increase that number to 100 million by 2030 to catapult the country to the world's 5th largest tourism destination from its present 21st rank.
"For this purpose, we have plans to add nearly 500,000 hotel rooms...these projects will be undertaken by the government and the private sector," he said.
Khatib said such projects would require construction of new airports, as well as expansion of existing airports and land transport, adding that they would lift the total number of jobs in the tourism sector to 1.6 million from around 600,000 at present.
Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)
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