By Staff writer
15.4 million tourists visited the kingdom in 2015, local media claims
Saudi Arabia generated SR53.7 billion ($14.3 billion) this year from tourism revenues, official figures reportedly show.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) found that domestic and inbound (foreign) tourism revenues reached SR53.7 billion ($14.3 billion) this year, while outgoing Saudi tourists spent SR24.1 billion ($6.4 billion) abroad, according to local media.
Arab News said a source from the SCTNH shared data with the newspaper showing that the number of tourists to Saudi Arabia reached 15.4 million in 2015, up three percent from the previous year, while the number of outbound Saudi tourists reached 6.4 million.
Inbound tourism expenditure was reportedly the highest spending group at SR5,120 ($1,365) per capita, compared to SR3,020 ($805) per capita for the outbound tourism group, the newspaper said.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
They are talking about religious tourism not leisure tourism. The visa process for tourists to Saudi Arabia is the most difficult in the world. But since Mecca is the most holy place for Muslims, Saudi Arabia gets pilgrims by default. Saudi Arabia is a beautiful country in terms of deserts, historical areas, Red Sea and else, but due to strict leisure visa regulations, tourists can not visit the kingdom. Also, Saudi Arabia does not have enough hotels and restaurants (other than major cities) to tailor for tourists needs. Madaen Saleh is a small Petra, but very few see it, and it has one small mediocre hotel. If real tourism existed at least 20 hotels should be built in Madaen Saleh
Saudi is a heritage place, but tourism is for pilgrims though and for families of expat families. These are the realities. I think and pray Saudi should open its country to foreigner. Pilgrim tourism is it's strength too.