Saudi tourism spending slumped 61.5% in 2020 as pandemic struck

31.7% of tourism spending came from abroad in 2020

  
Saudi men perform a traditional folk dance at the cultural village of Rijal Almaa in the outskirts of Abha, Saudi Arabia July 17, 2020.

Saudi men perform a traditional folk dance at the cultural village of Rijal Almaa in the outskirts of Abha, Saudi Arabia July 17, 2020.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri
 
RIYADH: Tourism spending in Saudi Arabia slumped 61.5 percent to SR63.4 billion ($16.9 billion) in 2020 as the pandemic halted travel within and into the Kingdom.

Tourists from abroad made up 31.7 percent of spending, Al Eqtisadiah reported, citing Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and Ministry of Tourism data.

Saudi Arabia is investing billions of riyals in developing destinations for residents and foreign visitors, including the Red Sea Project resort, and the cities of NEOM and Al-Ula. The Kingdom issued more than 500,000 tourist visas before the pandemic after offering them for the first time in September 2019.

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