At least 4.5 million Saudi tourists spend over SR80 billion (US$21.3 billion) every year when they go abroad and six times as much as their Western counterparts, making them the highest spenders worldwide.

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The secretary general of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities’ media center and expert in tourism affairs Khalid Al-Dughaim said international tourism has become very popular and the domestic tourism industry is competing to attract tourists.

He said, “Development of the tourism industry will enrich regional income and enhance the attraction of the country’s landmarks and history. It will also create job opportunities for many job-seekers.”

He also said tourism in the Kingdom in relatively new compared to other Gulf and Arabian countries, which is why it is not receiving full financial and media support.

He added that Saudis have started studying tourism and are hoping to graduate and work in the field.

The country should focus on developing the human resources of the tourism industry and facilitate loans and financial support for investors, he said.

Source: The Saudi Gazette