The Saudi Arabian tourism sector is poised for substantial expansion, propelled by robust government backing and the ambitious Vision 2030 initiatives. With a goal of increasing the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP from 3.8% in FY19 to 10.0% by FY30, Saudi Arabia aims to welcome 100 million foreign visitors, up from approximately 20 million in FY19, while targeting 30 million visitors for Hajj and Umrah by FY30. These objectives are set to drive significant growth in the sector, and the World Travel & Tourism Council anticipates an average annual growth rate of 11.0% for Saudi Arabia’s Travel & Tourism sector over the next decade, making it the fastest-growing in the Middle East.
The recovery of the aviation sector will play a pivotal role in enabling tourism growth. Despite pandemic-induced travel restrictions, the sector is now rebounding strongly, with a notable increase in the number of flights operated. The National Aviation Strategy, launched last year, aims to connect 250 direct destinations, triple air traffic to 330 million passengers, and attract over $100 billion in investments, positioning Saudi Arabia as a regional aviation leader by FY30. The introduction of a new national carrier, Riyadh Air, and expansion plans by existing players like Saudia, Flyadeal, and Flynas will further facilitate the influx of visitors, fostering tourism growth.
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