Riyadh airport new
Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb said Saudi Arabia is likely to become world's top tourism destination. Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Saudi Arabia aims to increase the number of air travellers to reach 330 million annually by 2030, a senior aviation official has said.

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General Manager of the Saudi General Authority for Civil Aviation's Excellence and Development Department, Hussain Al Assaf, told a forum in Riyadh that the national aviation strategy is designed to triple the current number of air passengers to reach 330 million per year by 2030.

To this end, the kingdom focuses on a set of principal fields, including expanding infrastructures by building new airports, expanding the existing ones, boosting their operation efficiency and improving travellers' experiences.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia unveiled a 'passenger without a bag' service at all its airports as the kingdom seeks to nurture its tourism industry and attract more holidaymakers.

The service was launched by the Matarat Holding Company, which manages the Saudi airports.

The service, to be launched in the first quarter of this year, allows the passenger to finalise all travel procedures from their residency and ship the luggage ahead of the flight, whether domestic or international.

The service aims to facilitate the passengers' travel procedures at the kingdom's airports and improve their travel experiences, including cutting the waiting time at airports and limiting luggage to light bags while moving from the residence to the aircraft.

The service will be accessible to individual and group passengers at Saudi airports.

The number of tourist arrivals in Saudi Arabia surged by 156 per cent last year compared to 2019, surpassing the global recovery rate from the pandemic fallout by 88 per cent, according to Saudi Arabia's Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb.

Previously, Saudi Arabia aimed to attract 100 million tourists by 2030 as part of an ambitious scheme to diversify its oil-dependent economy.