Saudi Arabia records tourism boom

Saudi Arabia records tourism boom

A recently released report by World Tourism Organisation (WTO) on inbound tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has found that, in 2010, the country was visited by 10.9 million visitors.

During their stays, these visitors spent US$6.8 billion, compared with 10.9 million visitors who spent US$7.8 billion in 2009.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - according to WTO’s report which is titled: Measurement of international tourism - has acquired significant percentage that reached 17.8 per cent of the total of inbound tourism in the Middle East.

According to the report, Kingdom comes 2nd among the Arab countries and 22nd internationally among the countries that record high rates of visitors compared with 20th place it had reached in 2009.

The report also stated that, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranked fifth in the Arab World and ranked thirty-seventh internationally in the same year regarding tourism revenues compared with its thirty-first place during 2009.

On major indications of the international tourism movement during the first eight months of 2011, the report stated that, the number of tourists during the period, from January to August, 2011, have reached 671 million all over the world, reporting a growth of 4.5 per cent compared with the same period in 2010 as well as a growth of 11.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2009.

The number of international tourists during the same period has reported 69% of the total number predicted to the end of the current year. 

On tourism movement in the Middle East, from January to August, 2011, the region has reported decline of 9.1 per cent, vis-à-vis period last year.

Among countries, Syria was the lowest reported country with -37.6 per cent followed by Egypt with -34.7 per cent, then Lebanon with -24.7 per cent, Jordan with -14.1 per cent, while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reported a significant increase of 88.3 per cent, followed with the United Arab Emirates of 7.9 per cent while Amman reported 12.4 per cent increase.

As for air flights, and according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the report has unveiled an increase of 6.3 per cent in air passenger movement on scheduled international airlines during the period from January to September, 2011, compared with the same period in 2010.

According to measurement of Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK), the report predicted an increase in domestic air transport with 4.4 per cent, and an increase in international air transportation with 7.5 per cent compared with 2010.

The report also expected the rate of international tourists to increase to around four to 4.5 per cent by the end of 2011 with a significant growth in tourism movement in 2012 between three and four per cent slightly lower than it was in 2011.