Over the past four years, Saudi Arabia has advanced 12 spots to rank second globally in terms of the percentage of international tourist growth. The number of visitors to Saudi increased by 64% during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2019, according to a report by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), making the Kingdom second in the world in terms of international tourist growth. This is due to the facilities provided by the Saudi government to welcome tourists, including electronic visas.
During the past quarter, Saudi Arabia received about 7.8 million tourists, representing the best quarterly performance in history and advancing 12 spots in four years. In January of this year, the tourism sector in the kingdom recorded historic numbers in terms of occupancy rates and the number of foreign visitors. The number of visitors in January was 2.4 million, and the number increased in February, with 2.5 million visitors, or approximately 83,000 visitors per day.
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Last year, 12,000 hotel rooms were opened in Saudi Arabia, the highest rate in the world of hotels and hospitality. According to Knight Frank’s estimates, strong growth rates are expected to continue until 2030, with the number of hotel rooms expected to increase from around 128,000 rooms currently to approximately 403,000 rooms by 2030, representing a jump of about 215%.
The total number of new rooms by 2030 will be distributed as follows: 37% for 5-star hotels, 36% for 4-star hotels, 17% for 3-star and lower-category hotels, and 10% for hotel apartments. The total cost of building these hotel rooms is $21.2 billion, excluding the cost of “giga projects” hotels such as the Red Sea, Qiddiya, and NEOM, which alone will be responsible for 225,000 hotel rooms by 2030.
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