The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced a partnership with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to make Saudi Arabia a top five inbound destination, with 100 million international and domestic visits by 2030.
The strategic partnership will harness the power and expertise of WTTC’s global membership, world class events and 30 years’ experience in research and strategic policy work to support Saudi Arabia’s ambitious goals and Vision 2030 plan.
Speaking in Riyadh at the launch of Saudi’s new tourism visa on World Tourism Day, Gloria Guevara, president and chief executive officer of WTTC, said “I congratulate Saudi Arabia on its decision to open the country to tourists from across the world and look forward to working together to make Saudi Arabia a must visit destination the world over.
“Today history is being written! The government has recognised the enormous opportunities tourism can bring to the country and I am delighted to see the changes that the destination is making to drive tourism, such as e-visa on arrival for 49 countries, investment in mega projects and infrastructure development.”
According to WTTC’s annual Economic Impact Research data, in 2018 Travel and Tourism directly accounted for 3 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s GDP and supported 0.6 million jobs (5 per cent of employment).
Saudi Arabia, with a thriving religious tourism sector, is already the largest Travel and Tourism economy in the Middle East.
Ms Guevara continued: “The potential for tourism in Saudi Arabia is limitless. It has a wealth of natural and cultural resources and especially the amazing hospitality of the Saudi people, as yet undiscovered by international, and even many national travellers.
“Travel and Tourism growth will not only create jobs and a diverse economy, but will also spread a new understanding of Saudi Arabia’s rich culture around the world.
“We have seen how Travel and Tourism can transform nations and WTTC is delighted to support this new chapter as history is written in Saudi Arabia.”