This chapter includes the following articles.
Nestled between two seas and two continents, Saudi Arabia stretches over 2.1m sq km, an area as large as Western Europe. Its diverse landscapes offer a wide variety of scenery; while its rich history, culture and significance in the Muslim religion attract visitors from around the world, making it one of the most visited countries in the world. At around 31.7m – one-third of whom are expatriates – the Kingdom has the largest population of any country in the GCC region providing it with a sizeable source of domestic tourism. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia had an estimated GDP of $689bn in 2017, ranking it as a high-income country, meaning its inhabitants have substantial purchasing power that could be flexed in the travel sector. It comes as no surprise, then, that developing the country’s tourism sector has become a key priority in recent years, especially given that Saudi Arabia is seeking to boost diversification of its domestic industries away from hydrocarbons dependency.
This chapter contains an interview with Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairperson and President, Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.