For the first time ever, Saudi Arabia announced that it plans to finally open up the country to tourists. In particular, the reserved arab nation plans to give out visas to citizens of 49 nations.
Prior to this announcement, Saudi only allowed expatriate workers and Muslim pilgrims to set foot in the country. Notably, Saudi Arabia houses two Muslim holy sites – Mecca and Medina. Therefore, given the restrictions brought about by conservative Muslim ideologies, the country lost a lot in terms of tourism investments. However, things are about to change as the country loosens up on a number of restrictions going forward.
In addition to this news, reports also circulate that the Kingdom plans loosen up on the dress restrictions for female visitors. Once this plan materializes, female tourists would no longer be required to cover their entire body. However, females should still wear modest attire while inside Saudi territory. Additionally, Mecca would remain off limits for non-Muslim visitors.
Saudi Arabia looks to host 100 Million people by 2030
According to the Chair of the Saudi’s Tourism Ministry, the country expects to host 100 million people by 2030. Additionally, the country expects to create 1 million new jobs by then. Hence claiming that Saudi Arabia would become “the fastest growing tourism sector on earth”. Furthermore, the nation opens up trade for tourism investment in the country to attract potential businesses.
The move to open up the country to tourists is a welcome one as this would diversify Saudi Arabia’s source of income. For the longest time, petrol served as the country’s source of income. And as the world starts to shift towards more environmental resources, Saudi’s economy might start to crumble. Hence, the move to open tourism would work well for the country in the long term.