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New research shows increasing tourist interest in visiting Saudi Arabia

New research shows increasing tourist interest in visiting Saudi Arabia
January 3, 2020

YouGov research surveyed 9,521 people across the USA, China and five key markets in Europe, revealing a growing interest in visiting Saudi Arabia. The research has identified that one in five tourists are now more likely to visit Saudi Arabia for a vacation than five years ago.   

The data coincides with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) revealing its top inbound source markets since Saudi Arabia's opened its doors to international tourism.

Since the launch of the new tourism visa in September, visitors from China, UK, Malaysia, United States and Canada have topped the list of new arrivals welcomed into Saudi Arabia.

Saudi's historic sites appear to be an important attraction for tourists to the Kingdom. Among those surveyed by YouGov, over one in five (22%) are keen to visit Jeddah's historic old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Meanwhile, another UNESCO site, previously only known to a few travellers, is gaining a following amongst Chinese millennials.  Al Ula now tops the list of destinations in the Arab world of a third of Chinese tourists under the age of 35.

Italians top the list with 35% surveyed saying they would be more likely to visit Saudi Arabia following the new visa launch. British tourists were 15% more likely just ahead of Americans at 14%.

The research also points to new opportunities for multi destination tourism growth. Of all respondents 73% reported a preference to visit several destinations rather than stay in one location.

Arab League Tourism Ministers Meeting
The research is released as Saudi Arabia takes on the presidency of the Arab League Tourism Ministers Meeting at the end of a historic year for the Kingdom. Tourism Ministers from across the Arab world met earlier this month for the 22nd Annual Arab Tourism Ministers Meeting. During the meeting they discussed opportunities for regional-wide tourism offerings and unified strategies for sustainable growth of the sector to benefit local communities and the environment. 

His Excellency Ahmad bin Aqil Al Khatib Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) advised "this year marked the historic moment of Saudi Arabia opening its doors to the world. We are welcoming more visitors and investors than ever before. To those thinking of visiting Saudi Arabia in 2020, you won't find a warmer welcome anywhere in the world."

Image: Saudi Arabia's ancient UNESCO heritage site Madain Saleh will open to tourists for the first time in 2020 

Related Articles

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6th November 2019 - New US$133 million Discover Saudi platform launched to drive tourism

6th October 2019 - Open space and cultural projects aim to transform Saudi Arabian capital

27th September 2019 - Saudi Arabia looks to open up to non-Muslim international tourists

23rd July 2019 - Saudi Arabia hosts first International Beach Sports Tournaments at NEOM giga-project site

11th July 2019 - Backlash sees Nicki Minaj pull out of Saudi Arabia festival

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