Saudi Arabia’s effort to diversify its economy got a boost last year with a near-100% surge in tourism revenue, Arab News reports. According to tourism minister Ahmed bin Aqil Al-Khatib, tourists spent 185 billion riyals ($49 billion), up from SR95.6 billion in 2021.
Tourism remains a small part of Saudi Arabia’s economic mix, representing just 3.2% of GDP, but the government is reportedly hoping to attract 100 million tourists a year by 2030, up from 67 million in 2021.
As part of its drive to attract more visitors, the Kingdom’s tourism ministry last month moved to allow citizens to rent out their homes to tourists, Al Arabiya reports. The new rule could open the door for home-share services such as Airbnb to set up in Saudi Arabia.