Domestic tourism in Saudi Arabia is set to grow rapidly, according to a recent report by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).
SAMA forecasts total income from domestic tourism to reach $19.5 billion [SR73.3 billion] in 2010 and $27 billion [SR101.3 billion] in 2020, according to a press release issued today.
Addressing the Saudi Travel & Tourism Investment Market (STTIM), SAMA Secretary-General Dr. Ahmed Al-Khalifa said that tourism accounted for three percent of the Kingdom’s GDP in 2006. He noted that SAMA recently issued its annual report which gathers information on the number of trips, hotel occupancy rates and total sector income. The statistics are also compared other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, he added.
More than 342,000 employees are working in the Saudi tourism sector in areas related to hotels, resorts, furnished apartments, cafes, travel agencies, transportation and entertainment, Dr. Al-Khalifa stated.
“The number of employees working in hotels and resorts reached 47,000 employees, 21 percent of them being Saudis. While employees working in furnished apartments reached 26,000, 19% of them being Saudis,” he said, as quoted in the press release.
In 2005, the added value of tourism sector in the Kingdom reached 3.1 percent of the GDP, and 6.4 percent of the non-oil GDP. The number of employees working in tourism sector totaled 314,000 employees, 5.2 percent of the total labor force in Saudi Arabia for both the public and private sectors. Employees working in the sector were from both the public and private sectors with Saudis representing 15 percent of the total workforce in the industry.