The massive investment is expected to transform Saudi Arabia into one of the world’s largest leisure tourism destinations by 2030, according to research conducted by the Middle East and North Africa Leisure Attractions Council.
Developed by the Public Investment Fund, the tourism projects will spread over 64,634 square kilometres, with an estimated value exceeding $810 billion, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
Among these, the $500 billion (Dh1.8 billion) NEOM leads the list of the mega projects — which once completed, will deliver a futuristic mega sustainable city, followed by the $10 billion Qiddiya Project, spreading across 334 square kilometres in Riyadh.
The third project is Amaala, or the Saudi Riviera, located in the northern region with an area of 3,800 square kilometres, and developing islands in the Red Sea with a total area of 34,000 square kilometres.
Mishal Al Hokair, a board member of the council, said, “Saudi Arabia has an array of dynamic plans and attractions planned over the next few years, each of which will add to the fast growing leisure sector. The projects are implemented in line with the Vision 2030, which will change the entire economic and tourism landscape of not only Saudi Arabia, but the entire Middle East region, that will have a massive positive knock-on effect on the leisure tourism industry.
“Once the current COVID-19 situation improves, the investment and development in the Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector will bring massive opportunities for the industry. It is time for everyone to prepare for the next big growth,” he added
In addition, the tourism ministry will develop museums in various Saudi regions, and preserving Saudi heritage with a cost of more than $1.3 billion.
“Saudi Arabia foresees that the national tourism will significantly contribute to the gross domestic product as the most growing non-oil economic sector. The tourism revenues increased to more than SR193 billion ($51 billion) in 2017, and to more than SR211 billion ($56 billion) in 2018,” the ministry said in a report.
The total number of inbound and outbound tourist trips in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach 62 million trips, where tourism revenues are anticipated to exceed SR142 billion ($37 billion) by the end of 2020.
“Therefore, it is anticipated to rank as the 24th on the scale of tourist business environment, and 124th in the international openness of tourism, and the 60th in the travel and tourism competitiveness indicator,” the report said.
Original news source Credit: gulfnews.com