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Saudi Arabia’s growth in global index for tourism ‘second largest’: Minister at WEF

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Saudi Arabia has seen the “second largest improvement” on the global index that ranks tourism around the world, Princess Haifa Al Saud, the assistant minister of tourism to the Kingdom, said in a panel at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

A WEF report that indices travel and tourism around the world said that Saudi Arabia had the “greatest improvement in rank,” moving from 43 to 33 on the global chart.

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In 2021, the Kingdom reportedly recorded 63 million visits, according to the minister - “driven by domestic tourism,” in sharp contract to dwindling tourist numbers worldwide.

Some key areas in focus were improving the environment of the business by amending regulations of policies, the Princess said at the WEF panel in Davos.

For example, it reportedly took two weeks to obtain license for tourism activities now takes under 120 seconds, she elaborated.

Secondly, an e-visa that used to take five months to get approved now takes five minutes or even visa on arrival for eligible travelers.

Lastly, travel and tourism gained investment and interest from the government. It reportedly received “center stage” at government level and quickly gave support to focus on things like “training 110,000 people” and increase investment in the field, Princess Haifa Al Saud said in the same address.

Read more: Saudi Arabia’s port most efficient even as biggest US ports struggle with containers

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