Saudi Arabia offers tourist visas, announces $30 bln in investments

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Saudi Arabia has officially opened its doors to international visitors by offering tourist visas for the first time and announced it has attracted $30 bln in tourism investments, the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage said during an event in Riyadh.

The announcement was made at an event held by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) on Friday in Riyadh’s Diriyah.

In the first phase, Saudi officials said citizens of 49 countries will be able to obtain an electronic visa by applying online or upon arrival in the Kingdom. According to Saudi Arabia’s National Tourism Strategy, the Kingdom is expected to receive 100 million visits per year by 2030, compared to about 41 million at the present time.

“The Kingdom at this historic moment opens its doors to the world, and we are a people, of course, welcoming the visitor and honoring the guest. Thus, tourists will see that hospitality, generosity, the beauty of nature and depth of civilization are all important vocabulary in our country,” SCTH Chairman Ahmad al-Khateeb said at the event.

“Since the launch of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, we have started to work hard to be a global tourist destination, coinciding with the launch of major tourism projects and the adoption of incentive regulations for investment in the tourism sector, including the adoption of the national tourism strategy,” al-Khateeb added.

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