Saudi Arabia to invest over $1 trillion in tourism


Staff member
Saudi Arabia to invest over $1 trillion in tourism
The kingdom hopes for 100 million visits by 2030 as it pivots away from the oil sector to a more sustainable economy.
Published: MAY 30, 2022

Saudi Arabia is set to spend over $1 trillion in tourism in the coming decade in a bid to attract 100 million visitors by 2030 and diversify its primarily oil-based economy. The kingdom is pivoting from religious to leisure tourism, which it views as being a key sector in its Vision 2030 program that aims to modernize the country’s economy, according to a special report recently published by Entrepreneur Middle East in partnership with Lucidity Insights.

Erika Masako Welch is the chief content officer of special reports for Entrepreneur Middle East and helped put together the report. She told The Media Line that Saudi Arabia is hoping to become a global tourism leader. “Working [women] are entering the workforce at breakneck speed,” Masako Welch said. “Ten or 15 years ago, you had maybe 5% of the Saudi female population in the workforce and now it’s 34%. That’s a lot of jobs that young Saudis are vying for, and those jobs wouldn’t exist unless brand new industries in tech and tourism were being developed.”

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia announced that it had signed up Argentinian soccer great Lionel Messi to be its new tourism ambassador. After arriving in the kingdom for Jeddah Season, an art and culture festival, Messi uploaded a sponsored Instagram post from a yacht in the Red Sea with the hashtag #VisitSaudi.