According to a new report, inbound tourism spending in Saudi Arabia will reach $25.3 billion by 2025, recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“World inbound tourism spending collapsed by 57% in 2020, and our forecast expects it to rebound by 82% in 2021,” Caroline Bremner, head of travel and tourism research at Euromonitor International, said, continuing: “In our most pessimistic scenario, spending growth is predicted to rise by 40% in 2021, leading to a more prolonged recovery timeline, returning to pre-crisis levels by 2024.”
Saudi domestic tourism outperformed expectations throughout the pandemic
Saudi domestic tourism outperformed expectations throughout the pandemic, despite the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) describing 2020 as “the worst year on record in the history of tourism.”
In December, figures from the UNWTO revealed that destinations welcomed 900 million fewer international tourists between January and October, compared with the same period in 2019 – a 72% year-on-year slump.
Not withstanding the dismal global picture, the Saudi Ministry of Tourism announced in September that internal tourism saw a notable rise in traveler numbers, exceeding official projections.
The Kingdom is aiming to attract new tourism investments worth SAR220 billion by 2023
During the 2021 Budget Forum in December, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb explained that the Kingdom is aiming to attract new tourism investments worth SAR220 billion ($58 billion) by 2023 and more than SAR500 billion by the end of the decade. In 2019, Saudi travelers spent $22 billion traveling overseas. One of the ways the ministry aims to expand the Kingdom’s tourism revenues is to encourage Saudis to spend some of their tourism cash at home.
“We have reduced the leakage,” Al-Khateeb told Arab News in December. “In 2019, we launched 11 ‘seasons’ in Saudi Arabia and reduced travel outside by 30%. If we continue to do this, we will definitely reduce the leakage – Saudis will like to stay at home, and they will enjoy the offering.”