Saudi Arabia welcomes 24,000 tourists in 10 days

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Saudi Arabia welcomed 24,000 tourists in the 10 days after it issued tourism visas for the first time, state television reported Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia announced on September 27 it would start offering tourist visas, opening up the kingdom to holidaymakers as part of a push to diversify its economy away from oil.

“In 10 days, some 24,000 foreigners entered Saudi Arabia on a tourist visa,” the television reported, citing the Saudi foreign ministry.

Kickstarting tourism is one of the centerpieces of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform program to prepare the Arab world’s largest economy for a post-oil era.

Citizens from 49 countries are now eligible for online e-visas or visas on arrival, including the US, Australia, several European nations, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, China and Kazakhstan.

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