Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
815253
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:56 am

What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Wed Aug 18, 2021 5:28 pm

That is what they aim for. In 2019 they had 17,5 million international tourists (UNWTO).

Countries that have 55 million or more (2019) are France, Spain, United States, China, Italy and Turkey.

What can they do to triple the numbers?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Tourism_rankings

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.arabne ... 900641/amp
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 4951
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Wed Aug 18, 2021 6:32 pm

I don't think there's much they can do, they've set an unreachable goal which they're never going to make.

Saudi Arabia is known to be one of the most conservative countries in the world, if not the most conservative. Very strict Muslim laws, religious police to enforce that everyone follows those laws, etc. Not exactly appealing to foreign tourists, who desire freedom. Saudi Arabia lacks freedom. Women rights are not respected, for example women are not allowed to drive a car.

On top of that, there's nothing really appealing to Saudi Arabia which for the most part is just a big desert. Sure they got Mecca, however that's limited to Muslims only. It doesn't appeal to western tourists. Personally, I would never even think about Saudi Arabia when deciding where to spend my next holiday.

The 17.5 million tourists that they did get are mostly Hajj tourists, Muslims visiting Mecca. And while they're there anyway, they might as well take a look at the rest of the country. I don't suppose Muslims have a problem with the strict Muslim laws in Saudi Arabia, but to attract western tourists the country will need to loosen up. Those Muslim laws are really a problem, they are the reason non-Muslims won't go there. Saudi Arabia can be satisfied with the amount of tourism it currently has, that's the maximum achievable.
 
AirbusCheerlead
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:20 pm

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Wed Aug 18, 2021 6:41 pm

Well, to stay close to current events, continue to help install Taliban like governments in as many Muslim countries as possible by promoting an Islam that seems, to most westerners (me included), as backwards as a return to the middle ages.

Best regards and stay safe,
Jonas
 
Jutlander
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:04 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:01 pm

The countries with the high numbers of tourists are all secular countries, Saudi Arabia is not. Nothing against Muslims but Muslim countries are just not attractive to visit.

Excluding the Hajj the number of tourists in Saudi Arabia is close to zero, there's nothing worth visiting there. I mean, the UAE gets almost the amount of visitors Saudi Arabia gets and you don't want to know how much effort they put into that. They're way more liberal than Saudi Arabia and still lots of people don't want to go there because they're Muslim countries. Even Egypt, with the world famous Pyramids and the beach resorts along the Red Sea only gets 13 million tourists.

What it takes for Saudi Arabia to become slightly more appealing is to abolish Islam as a state religion and become a secular country. Give everyone free choice as to which religion they want to follow. Honestly I can't see that happening. Remember Rahaf al-Qunun, the Saudi teen who fled her country because she didn't want to be a Muslim anymore? She was forced into a religion she did not want to follow and still many people in Saudi Arabia want to punish her for what she did. And such a country is aiming for tourists? Don't make me laugh!
 
815253
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:56 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:02 pm

AirbusCheerlead wrote:
Well, to stay close to current events, continue to help install Taliban like governments in as many Muslim countries as possible by promoting an Islam that seems, to most westerners (me included), as backwards as a return to the middle ages.

Best regards and stay safe,
Jonas


Installing the Taliban in a country spikes up the departures, but not the arrivals ;)


PatrickZ80 wrote:
I don't think there's much they can do, they've set an unreachable goal which they're never going to make.

Saudi Arabia is known to be one of the most conservative countries in the world, if not the most conservative. Very strict Muslim laws, religious police to enforce that everyone follows those laws, etc. Not exactly appealing to foreign tourists, who desire freedom. Saudi Arabia lacks freedom. Women rights are not respected, for example women are not allowed to drive a car.

On top of that, there's nothing really appealing to Saudi Arabia which for the most part is just a big desert. Sure they got Mecca, however that's limited to Muslims only. It doesn't appeal to western tourists. Personally, I would never even think about Saudi Arabia when deciding where to spend my next holiday.

The 17.5 million tourists that they did get are mostly Hajj tourists, Muslims visiting Mecca. And while they're there anyway, they might as well take a look at the rest of the country. I don't suppose Muslims have a problem with the strict Muslim laws in Saudi Arabia, but to attract western tourists the country will need to loosen up. Those Muslim laws are really a problem, they are the reason non-Muslims won't go there. Saudi Arabia can be satisfied with the amount of tourism it currently has, that's the maximum achievable.


:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Religious visitors surely gonna be the biggest share of tourists in the future. In 2025 they want 30 million tourists with a religious purpose.

Western tourists may have more rights than the population. I remember they wanted to create a town for tourists with a more Western culture.

These are my thoughts:

- develop the tourism on the Red Sea. So it's at least as good as in Egypt. In winter the air and water is warmer than in Egypt.
- create accommodations for all budget ranges. From hostels to luxury hotels
- Letting (U)LCCs in by dropping airport charges. To Riyad FR and W6 can do their 6 hour flights up to Italy, Poland, Berlin and Southern Germany. To the north eastern Saudi Arabian coast to London and whole France and Germany. FlyArystan can bring tourists from Kazakhstan.
Image

- make it visa-free for citizens of developped countries
- letting Western tourists a big share of their personal freedom
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 4951
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:20 pm

airlinenavigato wrote:
Western tourists may have more rights than the population. I remember they wanted to create a town for tourists with a more Western culture.


I'm afraid that ain't good enough. Western tourists care for their fellow human beings, they want them to have the same rights as they have.

Instead of creating a town with a more western culture, why not give the entire country a more western culture? It can be done, look at Turkey for example. A secular country with a large Muslim majority. But non-Muslims are accepted as well, not just as tourists but locals are free to change religion too if they want.

In Saudi Arabia renunciation is punishable by death, westerners have a problem with that. Renunciation should be a free choice and those trying to murder someone for renunciation should be punished for that. That'll need a culture turnaround in Saudi Arabia, but it's the only way it can attract western tourists.
 
815253
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:56 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:27 pm

Western tourism may bring liberal thinking inside the country to make it a more free country
 
LTEN11
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:09 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Thu Aug 19, 2021 12:23 am

To answer the thread question : Nothing, absolutely nothing. Besides catering to a particular brand of religion, there is basically nothing to attract tourists from beyond that religion. The country itself may have tourism worthy sites, including the religious sites, but there is virtually zero interest in going there, with the exception of those doing business.

China was mentioned earlier as a secular country, it is far from it. If you practice any sort of religion in China, you are liable to be prosecuted and find yourself in one of those reeducation camps. You'll need more than your belief in whatever god you chose to follow to get out of there with your beliefs intact.
 
815253
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:56 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Thu Aug 19, 2021 2:23 am

airlinenavigato wrote:
Western tourism may bring liberal thinking inside the country to make it a more free country


And the population of Saudi Arabia then can fly to the liberal Western Europe and experience the culture from 15€ one-way.
The Schengen visa approval rate for Saudi Arabian citizens is around 90%.
https://statistics.schengenvisainfo.com/

On the Red Sea coast there are air tempatures from December to February of 32⁰C! And the water has 25⁰C. A totally unused potential for freezing sun and heat seeking Europeans. Just 5-6 hour flying away.

Image

These winter temperatures don't have Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Aqaba and Eilat. Maybe the former Western Sahara region of Morocco. But the touristic development of that area is another topic.
 
luckyone
Posts: 4320
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Thu Aug 19, 2021 12:37 pm

airlinenavigato wrote:

Western tourists may have more rights than the population. I remember they wanted to create a town for tourists with a more Western culture.

These are my thoughts:

- develop the tourism on the Red Sea. So it's at least as good as in Egypt. In winter the air and water is warmer than in Egypt.
- create accommodations for all budget ranges. From hostels to luxury hotels
- Letting (U)LCCs in by dropping airport charges. To Riyad FR and W6 can do their 6 hour flights up to Italy, Poland, Berlin and Southern Germany. To the north eastern Saudi Arabian coast to London and whole France and Germany. FlyArystan can bring tourists from Kazakhstan.
Image

- make it visa-free for citizens of developped countries
- letting Western tourists a big share of their personal freedom

I could see the Red Sea being an attraction -- assuming that there are no conflicts with local sensibilities. But why would those airlines fly to Riyadh? Jeddah would be a better port of entry.

At the end of the day, for Saudi Arabia to be marketable to Western tourists, some compromises would have to be made with respect to mingling of the sexes. I'm a huge foodie so checking out local cuisine I think would be interesting. And then this is an honest question--what of Arabian culture could I experience in Saudi Arabia that I can't experience in nearby UAE, which is certainly more welcoming to Westerners? Certainly some elements of Bedouin culture -- but will that fly without the mingling of sexes? I think seeing the Masjid al-Haram and the Kaaba would be interesting...but as a non-muslim homo I know full well that's next to never happening in my lifetime.
 
SFOThinker
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:13 pm

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Thu Aug 19, 2021 3:09 pm

Is the ban on non-Muslins visiting Mecca based on scripture, or is it a decision of the Saudi Kingdom? If the latter, then it could change, and many people, including me, would be interested in a visit.
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 4951
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Thu Aug 19, 2021 3:56 pm

airlinenavigato wrote:
On the Red Sea coast there are air tempatures from December to February of 32⁰C! And the water has 25⁰C. A totally unused potential for freezing sun and heat seeking Europeans. Just 5-6 hour flying away.

Image

These winter temperatures don't have Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Aqaba and Eilat. Maybe the former Western Sahara region of Morocco. But the touristic development of that area is another topic.


The Red Sea resorts in Egypt do come close though, places like Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam get a lot of European tourists during the winter. The Egyptian Mediterranean shore is indeed slightly colder and therefor less popular. As for western Africa, Cape Verde is an upcoming holiday destination for Europeans. Countries like Senegal and Gambia are also trying to attract European tourists, and otherwise there's always the Caribbean which is nicely warm during the winter. Europeans have plenty of opportunities for getting a few rays of sunshine during the winter without looking at Saudi Arabia.
 
luckyone
Posts: 4320
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Thu Aug 19, 2021 4:03 pm

SFOThinker wrote:
Is the ban on non-Muslins visiting Mecca based on scripture, or is it a decision of the Saudi Kingdom? If the latter, then it could change, and many people, including me, would be interested in a visit.

Whether it is or it isn't, it would be a MAJOR change to a lot of very conservative people. How would they react to that? My guess is not well.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 1449
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Thu Aug 19, 2021 4:37 pm

Other than religious pilgrims to Mecca, what other tourism would Saudi Arabia have? I'm not asking to be snarky, but given the Saudi viewpoint of being "the protectors of Islam's holiest site", why would they want non-Muslims in their country for anything other than business?
 
arcticcruiser
Posts: 506
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:16 pm

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Sat Aug 21, 2021 8:17 pm

My reaction to Saudi tourism ads has been, really? Who (from any Western country) would want to go there? And I spent a significant time in a five year period right up until the first Gulf War, flying Saudia Cargo. Got briefly back in 2009 for a Hajj operation. While a lot had improved, no thanks. Never again.
 
BuildingMyBento
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:18 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Sat Aug 21, 2021 11:18 pm

Saudi Arabia is a fantastic country to visit...it's quiet, there's a diversity in geography (besides the desert, oases and canyons dominate, plus the Red Sea is very refreshing throughout the year), and the big cities have food from all over the world. Then there's Madain Saleh, Saudi's answer to Petra (Jordan), plus some vernacular architecture born out of coral in Jeddah. Infrastructure is generally good - at least from the perspective of a tourist - and their currency is stable.

In the Saudi government's rear-view mirror is Vision 2030, which is their big plan to diversify the economy, and with that, massively grow the tourist sector. One plan is to build a resort archipelago in the northern Red Sea, emulating the elephant in the room (aka Dubai); others include constructing "smart cities" in Tabuk province, the one that directly faces Egypt.
 
SkyVoice
Posts: 572
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:34 pm

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Sun Aug 22, 2021 3:01 am

The only thing that I can come up with is for the Kingdom to finish building the Jeddah Tower and the Jeddah Economic City that is supposed to go with it. Stock both the Tower and the Economic City with upscale tenants. Make sure that the region has hotels, restaurants, shopping areas, good access to transportation (such as the airport) and make it all have an atmosphere in which Westerners will feel welcome and at ease.

Even then, all of that won't bring in 55 million tourists a year by 2030!
 
User avatar
Aaron747
Posts: 17785
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Sun Aug 22, 2021 3:44 am

It's a tall order to come anywhere close to their target, but it will certainly keep their design, marketing, and hospitality industry leaders busy for the next decade.
 
User avatar
eta unknown
Posts: 3243
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 5:03 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Mon Aug 23, 2021 2:56 pm

Reclassify people coming to perform Umrah/Haj as tourists and magic presto: goal reached.
I've been told the coral reef new Yanbu is great, but try convincing your wife to wear a burkini on the beach. Don't forget if you can't prove you're married you can't share a hotel room in KSA.
 
815253
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:56 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Mon Aug 23, 2021 9:56 pm

Muslim foreigners with a religious purpose are already counted as tourists. That number gonna increase anyway due to more people becoming able to afford a flight.

eta unknown wrote:
try convincing your wife to wear a burkini on the beach.


haha

just saw, they want to build THE LINE, part of NEOM, which is supposed to be independently from the existing governmental framework with its own tax and labor laws and an autonomous Western orientated judicial system. In the north west at the Red Sea, where it is in the summer less hot than in other parts of the country.

Image


Image


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Line,_Saudi_Arabia

https://www.neom.com/en-us/whatistheline
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 9173
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Tue Aug 24, 2021 2:57 am

I can’t imagine any reason to visit KSA, even without the whole Muslim thing. Been there, got the magnet. Beirut I liked but it’s gone to hell in a handcart. Dubai was interesting, I’d go back but not on my dime. Israel was great, but you’d expect that. Cairo interesting, but El Alamein for a long weekend was good—nice beach, great weather, and nice resorts under development. There’s a hundred places higher up on my bucket list.
 
User avatar
Aaron747
Posts: 17785
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:29 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
I can’t imagine any reason to visit KSA, even without the whole Muslim thing. Been there, got the magnet. Beirut I liked but it’s gone to hell in a handcart. Dubai was interesting, I’d go back but not on my dime. Israel was great, but you’d expect that. Cairo interesting, but El Alamein for a long weekend was good—nice beach, great weather, and nice resorts under development. There’s a hundred places higher up on my bucket list.


Not to mention for North Americans in particular, if you want deserts with beaches, Baja is much closer than KSA and far more friendly. And it’s not all about Cabo...La Paz is one of the most beautiful beach towns on the continent.
 
User avatar
stl07
Posts: 3109
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 8:57 pm

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:25 am

Aaron747 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
I can’t imagine any reason to visit KSA, even without the whole Muslim thing. Been there, got the magnet. Beirut I liked but it’s gone to hell in a handcart. Dubai was interesting, I’d go back but not on my dime. Israel was great, but you’d expect that. Cairo interesting, but El Alamein for a long weekend was good—nice beach, great weather, and nice resorts under development. There’s a hundred places higher up on my bucket list.


Not to mention for North Americans in particular, if you want deserts with beaches, Baja is much closer than KSA and far more friendly. And it’s not all about Cabo...La Paz is one of the most beautiful beach towns on the continent.

+1 on La Paz

Honestly you can even get some good stuff if you just start driving south into Mexico from LA/SD until you decide to stop or turn east
 
User avatar
stl07
Posts: 3109
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 8:57 pm

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:28 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
I can’t imagine any reason to visit KSA, even without the whole Muslim thing. Been there, got the magnet. Beirut I liked but it’s gone to hell in a handcart. Dubai was interesting, I’d go back but not on my dime. Israel was great, but you’d expect that. Cairo interesting, but El Alamein for a long weekend was good—nice beach, great weather, and nice resorts under development. There’s a hundred places higher up on my bucket list.

I can't imagine any reason to go to KSA, especially when Jordan is right there. Their airline allows for free stopovers on your way to other places in Europe/Levant/ME, the country has fairly western laws, there is very interesting history with Petra and you also get the dead sea and the red sea. Plus your wife doesn't have to wear any coverings should she choose not to. And she can take over for me if I get tired of driving or had too much to drink, yet another thing you can't do in KSA.
 
User avatar
Aaron747
Posts: 17785
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:32 am

stl07 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
I can’t imagine any reason to visit KSA, even without the whole Muslim thing. Been there, got the magnet. Beirut I liked but it’s gone to hell in a handcart. Dubai was interesting, I’d go back but not on my dime. Israel was great, but you’d expect that. Cairo interesting, but El Alamein for a long weekend was good—nice beach, great weather, and nice resorts under development. There’s a hundred places higher up on my bucket list.

I can't imagine any reason to go to KSA, especially when Jordan is right there. Their airline allows for free stopovers on your way to other places in Europe/Levant/ME, the country has fairly western laws, there is very interesting history with Petra and you also get the dead sea and the red sea. Plus your wife doesn't have to wear any coverings should she choose not to. And she can take over for me if I get tired of driving or had too much to drink, yet another thing you can't do in KSA.


If KSA wants any European tourism at all they have to at least follow the UAE model and allow people to drink overpriced booze in their hotel. Also helps to know well-connected locals who have their own stash.
 
myki
Posts: 430
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:43 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:10 am

I would be interested to find out reasons to go. As a Westerner, I can think of 100 reasons not to go (and FYI, women can drive in KSA now) but there are obviously compelling reasons for people to go to all sorts of places around the world. I have a friend who could think of nothing worse than 7 nights in Bali or a 12-countries-in-12-days European bus tour, and has instead travelled to the likes ofNorth Korea, Somalia, Iraq, of Myanmar. KSA is on his list go ... purely because many others don't.
 
User avatar
eta unknown
Posts: 3243
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 5:03 am

Re: What does it take for Saudi Arabia to get 55 million international tourists by 2030?

Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:42 pm

KSA is on your friend's list because he's a one-in-a-million outlier statistic. Unfortunately for KSA, there aren't enough people like him for the Kingdom to attain the stated tourism goal.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ajs123uk, Fiend and 13 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos