During the current winter, Saudi Arabia is witnessing the launch of more than 20 activities in a number of historical and heritage sites in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Ahsa, from the twenty-third of last November, until the end of the year, as the Saudi Tourism Authority promotes these activities within the “Saudi Winter” in cooperation with the private sector. .
The focus is not limited to attracting tourists from abroad, but local tourism has become an essential tributary for the sector, while providing options for everyone.
Efforts to promote tourism locally were reflected in the numbers and indicators of the sector, and while about 20.8 million tourists left Saudi Arabia in 2015, they spent 84 billion riyals outside the Kingdom, as 8.4 million tourists left the Kingdom last year, spending 53 billion riyals, which is equivalent to a 60% decline in tourism. Tourism numbers departing, a 36% decrease in spending.
Despite the repercussions of the spread of Covid-19 on tourism figures, especially in 2020, domestic tourism figures indicate the fruits of the local promotion policy.
The number of domestic tourists in the Kingdom increased by 37% last year compared to 2015 to about 64 million tourists, who spent 81 billion riyals, an increase of 67% during the same comparison period.
The indicators for the year 2022 indicate the continuation of the same approach, as the latest figures indicate that more than 32 million local visits have been recorded.
This comes as the importance of local communities to the sustainability of the tourism sector became evident during the spread of the Corona crisis, when, after the end of the worst of the crisis, it became the lifeline for the sector in various countries of the world, with the multiple restrictions on travel abroad.
Saudi Arabia is well aware of this importance, especially due to its impact on the development of the labor market and small and medium enterprises, which are estimated to account for 80 percent of the activities of the global tourism sector.