Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning hospitality scene ranks first among Arab nations for inbound visitors in 2022

Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning hospitality scene ranks first among Arab nations for inbound visitors in 2022

Saudi Arabia registered more international arrivals than any other Arab nation during the first nine months of 2022, as government officials aim to attract 100 million annual visitors by the end of this decade.

In line with Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 program, which features tourism as one of its key pillars, a new law was issued by the Saudi Arabian cabinet in August aimed to improve the competitiveness of the tourist industry. The new law grants businesses special licenses, as well as support from the ministry — which is creating an all-inclusive platform for tourism stakeholders — and will end up boosting the tourism sector’s GDP contribution by 10 percent in addition to creating a million job opportunities.

Figures released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reveal that Saudi Arabia attracted more than 18 million inbound visits in the first three quarters of 2022, followed by the United Arab Emirates (14.8 million tourists) and Morocco (11 million tourists). Other countries in the region that ranked in the top 10 were Syria (8.5 million tourists), Tunisia (5.7 million tourists), Egypt (5.2 million), Bahrain (4.3 million), Jordan (3.5 million), Qatar (2.9 million), and Oman (2.3 million), Algeria (2 million), Lebanon (1.6 million), Iraq (1.5 million), Yemen (1 million), Sudan (800,000) and Palestine (400,000). Kuwait (203,000) attracted the lowest .

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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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