Saudi Leads MENA Region in International Tourism

  • Publish date: Wednesday، 10 May 2023
Saudi Leads MENA Region in International Tourism

A report by travel data firm ForwardKeys reveals that Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East are expected to see a 36 percent rise in international tourism between June and August this year compared to a year earlier.

Saudi Arabia is expected to lead this demand with a 475 percent year-on-year (YoY) increase in travellers and a 56 percent surge from pre-pandemic levels, the report said.

The expected influx of travelers this summer will be a result of the Kingdom's decision to raise the cap on the number of pilgrims who can perform Hajj this year - the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19.

“The tourism industry in the MENA region is set to continue its strong recovery during the upcoming summer months thanks to a combination of a significant increase in travel intent,” said Olivier Ponti, Vice President of Insights at ForwardKeys.

The CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) Fahd Hamiduddin revealed last month that tourism will be the “new oil” for the kingdom.

“The world in the 1920s came to Saudi for oil, now the world will come in the 2020s for tourism. Tourism is the new oil,” he said during Arabian Travel Market.

Meanwhile, the neighboring UAE, which enjoy most of the tourism flow in the Middle East and North Africa region, will see an increase of 43 percent compared to 2022 and a decrease of 8 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to the same report.

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