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Saudi Arabia Welcomes International Investors to its Booming Tourism Sector

Written by Linda Hohnholz

Saudi Arabia Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb acknowledged the challenges faced in transitioning from an oil-reliant economy and emphasized the creation of exciting opportunities with global significance.

Putting the focus on tourism, he extended a warm welcome to international investors interested in this flourishing industry in the Kingdom. During his participation at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute’s Priority Rio de Janeiro Summit, Al-Khateeb highlighted the vast potential within the sector, fueled by Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 economic diversification plan.

The minister underscored the global importance of tourism, citing a recent World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report, which predicts the sector’s contribution to the global economy will reach a staggering $16 trillion by 2034, accounting for 11.4%.

Al-Khateeb emphasized Saudi Arabia’s commitment to attracting international investors, stressing efforts to create a business-friendly environment with streamlined investment processes and reduced costs.

The minister highlighted Saudi Arabia’s dedication to sustainable tourism practices. The Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC) spearheads efforts to achieve net-zero emissions and environmental preservation.

Al-Khateeb expressed a keen desire to establish strong partnerships with countries worldwide, pointing to the 2022 memorandum of understanding signed with Brazil as a prime example. Praising the exceptional relations between the two nations, he welcomed the potential for a strengthened tourism partnership.

The minister elaborated on Saudi Arabia’s efforts to enhance tourism-related infrastructure, including airport development and expansion. The air connectivity program aims to increase international air routes into the Kingdom. The implementation of electronic visas has contributed significantly, attracting over 27 million international tourists in 2023.