From The Report: Saudi Arabia 2013
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The tourism industry in the Kingdom has seen good growth in recent years. The number of visitors rose dramatically in 2011, making Saudi Arabia the largest travel market in the Middle East and North Africa. Plans to remove restrictions on the movement within the Kingdom of religious visitors from a number of countries, along with major tourism developments in the pipeline, are set to boost the market further. As demand grows, international hotel chains are expanding their presence, including in the middle and lower end of the market that has traditionally been left to local players. The authorities are also seeking to renovate traditional villages and turn them into tourist attractions, with funding to be generated through the creation of public-private companies. Meanwhile, efforts to develop the meetings, incentives, conferences and events segment are continuing apace.