RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s tourism spending surged 93 percent in 2022 to hit SR185 billion ($49 billion), up from SR95.6 billion in 2021, as the Kingdom continues to diversify its economy as part of Vision 2030.
The Minister of Tourism Ahmed bin Aqil Al-Khatib revealed these details during his monthly meeting with citizens, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Reviewing the achievements made by the sector during the year 2022, the minister said: "The direct contribution of the sector in the gross domestic product amounted to 3.2 percent of the total target of 10 percent by 2030.”
Moreover, he noted that the number of jobs in 2022 reached 880,000, reflecting an increase of 15 percent when compared to the previous year.
“The percentage of Saudi women in the tourism sector also increased to reach 44 percent of the total workers in the sector,” Al-Khatib added.
He also urged investors in the sector to adhere to the new regulations set by the ministry in order to achieve a healthy competitive environment that is both fair and attractive to investment.
The new regulations tackle developing the proper procedures and requirements for practicing tourism activities while taking into consideration the diversity of services provided and raising quality levels.
Additionally, the minister also stressed on the need to further raise the level of services provided in the sector through training and preparing the human cadre, which is the main factor in upgrading the sector.
"The ministry is seeking to provide one million jobs in the tourism sector with its various activities, which requires the establishment of training institutes and the building and development of training programs and services in the field of hospitality and tourism,” Al-Khatib explained.
Furthermore, the ministry launched a joint borrowing program with the banking sector to finance medium, small, and micro enterprises in an attempt to enhance investments in the sector.
During 2022, the Ministry of Tourism also implemented as many as 11 advertising campaigns to introduce and market tourism in the Kingdom, reaching 35 countries.