Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Landscape – Establishing a Vision
By Zabada N Abouelhana, Ahmad Yousry Elbeheiry
Friday, 23rd December 2022

Saudi Arabia is entering an entirely new tourism landscape with its Saudi Vision 2030 initiatives.

With a strong economic outlook, a diversification of its economy, and significant governmental support, the hospitality and tourism markets across the Kingdom are expected to thrive over the next decade.

Economic Performance & Outlook

Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Arab world and the world’s largest crude oil exporter. In 2016, the Saudi Government launched its Saudi Vision 2030 to diversify its economic resources.

The Kingdom’s plans focus on service improvement, fiscal sustainability, and private sector empowerment, through diversifying the economy, improving non-oil revenues, enhancing spending efficiency, and generating employment.

With a continued focus to allocate resources to health, education, and the development of core services, in addition to the continuation of social support and benefits as part of its Vision 2030 objectives, the Saudi government is promoting a better quality of life and diversified economy.

After a strong rebound in 2021, supported by healthier domestic demand, economic growth has continued to accelerate this year due to increases in oil production.

Based on the data published by the International Monetary Fund, Saudi Arabia’s GDP is expected to record a 7.6% growth in 2022 compared to the 3.2% growth registered in 2021. The growth rate is expected to be 3.7% in 2023 and 2.9% in 2024.

The IMF forecasts an inflation rate of 2.7% in 2022 in comparison with 3.1 and 3.4 recorded in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

KSA's Key Economic Indicators

Source: International Monetary Fund

The WTTC forecasts the Travel & Tourism sector in Saudi Arabia to grow at an average of 11% annually over the next decade, making it the fastest-growing Travel & Tourism sector in the Middle East.

The Kingdom expects the total sector’s contribution to reach SAR 635 billion in 2032, constituting approximately 17.1% of the total economic GDP. The data illustrates the economic relevance of tourism in the Kingdom.

Travel & Tourism will become a driving force of the Saudi Arabian economy due to high levels of investments and strong governmental support; according to WTTC, KSA is anticipated to surpass the goals set out in its Vision 2030 blueprint.

KSA’s Tourism Contribution to GDP

​​​​​​Source: World Travel and Tourism Council

Mega Projects

As part of Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom has invested in several “giga projects” across the nation, including NEOM, AMAALA, The Red Sea Project, Diriyah, Qiddiyah, and many more as shown on the map below.

These projects each reflect uniquely and strongly the country’s vision and are anticipated to change the tourism and overall economic landscape of Saudi Arabia.

Read the full report here

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