Saudi tourism blitz accelerates as Riyadh hopes investors buy the hype


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Samuel Wendel

Senior Market Research Analyst, Al-Monitor


March 24, 2024

Bottom Line:

A flurry of Instagram posts in March revealed that soccer superstar Ronaldo was promoting a stay at Saudi Arabia’s new St. Regis Red Sea resort, amassing millions of likes. That came days after space tourism company Halo Space announced an imminent test flight from the kingdom amid plans to offer $164,000 tickets for commercial trips into orbit, which emerged just after the reveal of Gidori, an ultra-futuristic Saudi golf resort. It’s safe to say Saudi Arabia’s bold tourism blitz has continued unabated into 2024, a year after it welcomed 100 million tourists, a major milestone. Still, over 70% of those were Saudi travelers and Riyadh is signaling that more international visitors and foreign investment are key to its ambitions. A regional war doesn’t help, while big spending is squeezing state coffers, making this an important moment for its expanding tourism goals.

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