Tourism generated SR13.5 billion in Saudi Arabia during summer

During the just-concluded summer holidays, various Saudi regions received as many as 11.3 million tourists who spent a total of more than SR13.5 billion ($3.6 billion) on their trips, according to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).

The commission said the spending was an increase of about 12 percent over the previous summer. The commission’s center for information and tourist research said there were more than 2.3 million tourist trips inside the Kingdom made by foreign tourists. This is an increase of 21.2 percent over the previous year, it said.

Quoting a statement by the center, Al-Watan newspaper reported on Wednesday that the Kingdom collected about SR8.7 billion from the tourists, who did not include those who came for religious visits. The revenue generated was about 15.9 percent more than last year.

According to the tourism commission, the Eastern Province received about 45 percent of the tourists followed by Riyadh, which had a 27 percent share. Makkah region had a 16 percent share.

SCTH said about 39 percent of the tourists traveled to various parts of the Kingdom to visit their friends and relatives. Those traveling for business represented about 31 percent while those doing shopping were about 12 percent. The commission said the majority of the tourists, or about 51 percent, visited various parts of the Kingdom for entertainment.

The center said there were more than 9.4 million tourist trips abroad this summer, which is an increase of about 7.4 percent over their number in 2017.

It said Saudis traveling abroad for tourism spent about SR30.5 billion, which is a drop of about 4.6 percent over their spending the previous year.

According to the center, the average expenditure of each tourist was SR1,196.

It said most of the foreign tourists came from the GCC countries, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, East Asia and the Pacific, North America and Africa.

According to the tourism commission, the Eastern Province received about 45 percent of the tourists followed by Riyadh, which had a 27 percent share. Makkah region had a 16 percent share.

Source: International Islamic News Agency