The consultant for the development of tourism events and destinations in Saudi Arabia, Imad Manshi, revealed in an interview with Al-Arabiya that the tourism industry in Saudi Arabia aims to create about 3 million new jobs.
Manshi said that the percentage of localization in the Saudi tourism sector increased from 28% to 43%, and we are at the beginning of implementing the goal of reaching the percentage of localization and local content in the sector exceeding 50%.
He explained that with the entry of the 9 new tourist destinations in the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia will become a major player in the global tourism industry.
He added that the tourism sector adopts a strategy aimed at supporting and developing human cadres through a set of development programs with the relevant authorities.
Manshi stated that the tourism industry in Saudi Arabia did not receive the first phase of giant projects, such as the Red Sea, Neom, and others, yet it was able to achieve exceptional numbers in the first quarter of this year.
He pointed out that there are many factors supporting the achievement of these numbers, most notably the political support for efforts to diversify the national economy, as the Entertainment Authority and the Supreme Authority for Tourism were established.
Manshi continued, “The Kingdom is working to facilitate arrival procedures by providing many tourist visas, attracting many airlines, expanding airports, implementing many events and reducing licensing time for events, in addition to the Saudi seasons and the efforts of the royal authorities to attract tourists.”
The number of visitors to Saudi Arabia grew by 64% during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2019, with the Kingdom achieving the second place in the world in the growth rate of the number of international tourists, according to the World Tourism Organization report.
This comes in light of the facilities provided by the Kingdom for tourists to enter the country, including electronic visas.
The Kingdom received about 7.8 million tourists during the past quarter, which represents the best quarterly performance in history, advancing 12 places in 4 years.