Domestic tourism has been a primary focus in Saudi Arabia over the last couple of years as it works on diversifying its economy away from oil-dependency. As a result of its various programs, projects, festivals, and initiatives, the country has in a short period of time experienced a significant growth in domestic tourism.
According to a recent survey conducted by Okaz, which was based on the data provided by the Saudi government, there has been a 14.43 percent rise in spending on entertainment and culture during the third quarter of this year by Saudi Arabians, expatriates, and tourists, totaling SR2.8 billion (over 746 million USD), compared to SR2.45 billion over the same period last year.
Indeed, this rise in domestic spending on tourism was evident from the start of the year, with various reports stating that tourist trips within Saudi Arabia went over 3.2 million in July and August, and tourism abroad from Saudi Arabia fell by 5.8 percent during that same period.
As part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to bolster tourism at home, the Kingdom has been programming a nation-wide events calendar packed full of entertainment, art, culture, and fun. It has also been working on developing its entertainment, arts, culture, and heritage sectors in an attempt to provide its citizens with more options to have fun at home, as well as to create more job opportunities for its youth.
Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is hoping to attract visitors from across the globe and become a major world tourist destination given its cultural and heritage potential. Although a country rich with exceptional natural, cultural, and heritage sites, it has only started to develop its tourism sector the last two years or so, with plans to continue creating attractive offerings that will draw in millions over the next few years.