While Saudi Arabia has always been a place for business travel and religious pilgrimages, it has largely been off the radar for those traveling for pleasure. New visas for leisure travelers will change the course.
“Travelers looking for history, culture and a unique experience are likely to be interested in exploring new opportunities in the region,” said Taylor Rains, emphasizing that Saudi Arabia provides a pure cultural experience.
In addition, expanded tourism and entertainment sectors help advance the Kingdom’s economic diversification plan, Vision 2030. Such initiatives not only attracts more outside investors, distancing Saudi even further from oil, but also leads to more tourism translating into more job opportunities, fostering a workplace for women and men to be seen as equals.
Attracted to the Promise of a Kingdom in Progress
Tourism is booming across Saudi Arabia. Here’s what travelers can look forward to
Hotels, hotels, hotels: Before the visa extension, tourism had already expanded in the Kingdom. To accommodate the boom in tourism the Kingdom boasted 1,582 hotel options, with another 219 hotels currently under construction. O n top of this, Saudi Arabia is already home to a series of five-star hotels such as the Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood, and InterContinental and with more luxury travelers likely making their way to Saudi Arabia, expect to see more luxuries hotels. The Four Seasons already announced a second property in Saudi Arabia.
Theme Parks: Six Flags is even working with Dubai Parks and Resorts to build a series of amusement parks in Saudi Arabia.
Festivals: In 2017, Saudi Arabia’s summer festivals consisted of a broad array of activities “including cultural, heritage, sports, adventure, environment, shopping events,” expanding entertainment options within the Kingdom. In the summer of 2017, the SCTH, in partnership with tourism development councils and municipal authorities, organized more than 113 tourism festivals, attracting more than 12.5 million visitors and creating more than 91,000 temporary jobs.
“This step by Saudi Arabia could be indicative of a turning tide in the tourism industry,” Flugel Consulting’s Mr. Rains said on Saudi loosening travel restrictions. “With Saudi Arabia loosening restrictions on travel, it’s possible other nations in the region will follow suit.”
Read more at Luxury Daily.