2012 Arab News
2012-04-14 Half a million Saudis went on foreign destination for vacation
Published: Apr 14, 2012 01:10 Updated: Apr 14, 2012 01:10

Close to half million Saudis visited tourist destinations in foreign countries during the recently ended short school vacation, according to an official study published yesterday. While 486,505 Saudi tourists visited foreign countries spending SR1,65 billion, 616,586 foreigners came to the Kingdom spending SR1,48 billion during the semester vacation over the last 10 days in March, a statistical study published by the Tourism Information and Research Center (Mas), a subsidiary of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), said.

While average spending of a Saudi who traveled abroad was SR3,394, a foreign tourist to the Kingdom spent SR1,862, the study added. The largest number of Saudis, 145,300 people, went to Bahrain and 91,000 to Kuwait followed by 80,800 to the United Arab Emirates. The figures were collected from all exit points of the Kingdom. With 92,133 visitors, the UAE topped the list of tourists to the Kingdom followed by 85,905 from Bahrain. The number of Kuwaitis visiting the Kingdom was put at 77,875.
Director General of the Mas, Muhammad Al-Ahmad, said the study noted a 10 percent growth in the number of Saudi tourists going to foreign countries during the mid semester vacation compared to the same period last year when 444,979 Saudis traveled out to tourist locations. However, he added that although the number of Saudi tourists going outside was increasing it was not very high as indicated by some media.

He also quoted a statement of the Chairman of the SCTA Prince Sultan bin Salman while opening the Travel and Tourism Investment Market 2012 in Riyadh recently. In his speech, the prince had stressed the need for governments heavy investment in tourism infrastructure as a means to effectively compete with tourist destinations abroad. The momentum of Saudis leaving for foreign countries having advanced tourist facilities and top standard of services with reasonable prices for all sections of society would continue unless there is more government support for this vital sector.

It is the government that can invest in building infrastructure facilities and improving services by attracting investors to the domestic tourism sector, the prince added.

2012 Arab News
©opyright Neys4U 2004-2024