Gloria Guevara highlighted the unprecedented transformation that Saudi Arabia is undergoing in the tourism sector and the significance of Vision 2030 led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to diversify the economy and create new employment opportunities. She also emphasized the investment in sports as part of the strategy to attract tourism and enhance the country's economy.
Gloria Guevara Manzo, Chief Advisor to the Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Al Khateeb, held a meeting with over 40 journalists from Latin America and Spain to discuss the country's vision and strategy in the field of tourism, just hours before the World Tourism Day celebration in Riyadh. The event will bring together around 500 leaders, sector experts, and officials from 120 countries, marking a turning point in the development of tourism in the region.
Saudi Arabia has set a long-term vision called "Vision 2030," which is a plan with clear objectives. Its main goal is economic diversification, reducing dependence on oil, and creating new employment opportunities. Despite having enough oil for a hundred years, they recognize the importance of diversifying their economy.
Tourism as the New Oil:
In Saudi Arabia, they refer to tourism as "the new oil." This demonstrates the significance they attribute to the tourism sector as a source of economic growth.
Tourism is a significant source of job creation worldwide. Before the pandemic, one in every four jobs was generated thanks to tourism. Saudi Arabia aims to create one million jobs through the tourism industry.
Objectives for 2030:
Saudi Arabia has clear objectives for 2030 in the tourism sector. They aim to attract 100 million visitors, both domestic and international, and have tourism contribute at least 10% to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Significant investments are being made in infrastructure and tourism development in Saudi Arabia. One of the prominent projects is the NEOM project in the northwest of the country, which is receiving massive investment.
Tourism Sector Growth:
Saudi Arabia has experienced remarkable growth in the tourism sector, with a 121% increase in the number of international visitors in the year leading up to the interview.
Support for Sports:
Saudi Arabia is also investing in the development of sports and has recruited famous players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. This is seen as a way to attract more tourists interested in sporting events such as football, Formula 1, and golf. Sports are having a significant impact on the Saudi economy, contributing to a 1% growth in GDP according to official figures.