During the year 2000, some 4.4 million Saudis traveled abroad, spending $14.4 billion, an amount equal to 19 percent of Saudi oil revenues that year, according to official figures presented in a report recently published by the kingdom’s Higher Tourism Authority.
“Saudi tourists spent over 100 million nights abroad in 4.4 million trips during the year 2000. On average, each night cost them $135, bringing the total spending to about $14.4 billion," Prince Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud said, quoted in Arab News.
A book recently published by the Saudi Ministry of Information, asserts that by the year 2005, Saudis will spend on holidays nearly three percent of the total global tourism spending.
Less than 20 percent of Saudi nationals opt to pass their holiday vacations in the Kingdom, spending two billion dollars. Arab holiday destinations capture a third of the Saudi tourism market, while the rest choose to travel abroad to Europe, the United States and Asia.
The Saudi tourism industry currently employs only 12,500 of the kingdom’s 20 million population, a mere seven percent of whom are Saudis nationals. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )