saudi tourists
Saudi tourists. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Saudi Arabia topped the UN Tourism’s ranking for the growth of international tourist arrivals in 2023, recording a significant 56 per cent increase from 2019, leading all major destinations according to the latest World Tourism Barometer report.

The Kingdom also demonstrated a robust tourism recovery, with international tourist arrivals soaring by 156 per cent in 2023 when compared to 2019 figures.

This exceptional performance positions Saudi Arabia at the forefront of the Middle East’s tourism recovery, making it the only region worldwide to exceed pre-pandemic visitor numbers, with a recovery rate of 122 per cent in international tourist arrivals in 2023 compared to 2019.

The surge in tourism has been evident across Saudi Arabia’s diverse destinations, attracting a substantial increase in both domestic and international visitors in 2023.

Moreover, the Kingdom achieved a new high in international tourism revenue, with spending exceeding SR100 billion in the first three quarters of 2023, as reported by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) in its balance of payments.