Saudi Arabia recently marked a significant achievement by welcoming 100 million tourists, a milestone that includes both domestic and international visitors.
This accomplishment is the outcome of dedicated endeavors to elevate the country’s tourism sector, underscored by collaborative initiatives between the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Saudi Ministry of Tourism.
According to visaguide.world, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has recently revealed that Saudi Arabia has welcomed a total of 100 million tourists this year so far, surpassing the goal to welcome 100 million visitors by the end of the year.
Through a statement, the same authority also said that the Saudi tourism statistics system has achieved global recognition as among the most comprehensive and timely, emerging as a crucial tool in informed decision-making processes worldwide, VisaGuide.World reports.
The milestone was reached on the back of strong efforts to develop the country’s tourism sector, with UNWTO working closely with the Saudi Ministry of Tourism around a number of key initiatives.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
In 2021, the UNWTO inaugurated its Regional Office for the Middle East in Riyadh, designating it as a worldwide center for advancements in tourism, education, and rural development. Acknowledging Saudi Arabia’s dedicated contributions in this realm, the Kingdom has consistently represented the Middle East in the UNWTO Committee on Statistics for four consecutive sessions.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia held the exclusive role as the Middle East’s representative in the development of the Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (SF-MST), spearheaded by the Expert Group on MST.
Previously, authorities of Saudi Arabia revealed that India’s travel sector has experienced a notable surge in tourist influx to Saudi Arabia following the Kingdom’s strategic promotional campaigns aimed at attracting two million visitors from India by the end of 2023.
As a result, India has evolved into a significant tourism source market for Saudi Arabia over the past two years. The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) also pointed out that India is expected to become the country’s largest market in the upcoming year.
At the same time, the authority forged a partnership with the Indian Premier League, the world’s most-watched T20 cricket franchise, leveraging the sport’s vast fan base for promotional activities.
According to data from India’s largest online travel company, MakeMyTrip, search indexes for Saudi Arabia exhibit a positive trend, witnessing a 20 percent increase from January to March 2023 compared to October to December 2022.
Indian citizens planning to travel to Saudi Arabia must obtain a traditional visa in advance, a process managed through the application at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Securing a visa involves key requirements such as scheduling an appointment, gathering necessary documents, and completing the application fee payment.
Statista’s data for 2021 indicates that the number of applications from Indian nationals heading to Saudi Arabia in the West Asian region amounted to nearly 269,000. Such a figure represents a decline from the numbers recorded in 2019.