Saudi Arabia is getting ready to welcome at least 30 million tourists annually by the year 2030. In order to meet this objective the first tourism visas would be issued to tourists from 1st April 2018 alongside corporate travellers. Pilgrims have also been making religious trips and people visiting their relatives here.
For the very first time women aged below 25 and above would be issued a 30-day single-entry tourist visa without a male chaperone.
This would be marking a massive shift from 2006 to 2010 when the Kingdom largely had shut down the country to leisure travellers. The plan is to issue new tourist visas as was revealed in a fresh report prior to the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018 that is hosted at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 22nd to 25th April.
This change in attitude comes after Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s promised of a ‘moderate, open Islam’.
The Crown Prince was responsible for the recent lifting of the infamous driving ban for women. In an interview with one of the leading media houses, the Saudi prince has unveiled plans to welcome travellers as part of the Vision 2030 plan.
The fresh plans to lure tourism are quite grand since giant UK investors like Richard Branson is rumoured to be pooling his investment in the tourism industry of the nation.
There were also plans to transform the 50 Red Sea islands into luxury beach resorts that would not be subject to the conservative rules of the kingdom.
Reforms and investment are set to drive the tourism and hospitality sector over the following five years, with an expectant growth of 13.5 per cent year-on-year by 2022.