Saudi Arabia launches new strategy to reform tourism sector

Saudi Arabia launches new strategy to reform tourism sector

The innovative Digital Tourism Strategy was announced at LEAP, a technology-focused event in Riyadh 

Saudi Arabia has revealed that it plans to implement a three-year Digital Tourism Strategy that aims to reform the sector and meet its Vision 2030 targets.

As part of the initiative, the Ministry of Tourism will launch nine programmes by 2025 that aim to positively impact residents, visitors, investors and the public and private sectors.

Targets include reaching 100 million new visits and the tourism sector’s 10% contribution to the national GDP

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism Ahmed bin Aqeel Al Khateeb has Al Khateeb said: “The Digital Tourism Strategy will help us to redesign tourism in the Kingdom and achieve our ambitious Vision 2030 objectives of making Saudi Arabia a world-leading tourist destination. The Kingdom’s execution of this strategy over the next three years will inspire the tourism sector globally.”

Application of the strategy aims to provide tourists and stakeholders with a more seamless experience and will focus on areas including:

  • Seamless travel: Providing digital solutions to simplify travel procedures
  • Ease of doing business: Launching a unified platform to connect tourism service providers and applications
  • Innovation: Creating an experimental environment that will allow technology innovators to test new digital tourism solutions
  • Digital travel: Supporting tourism-related extended (virtual or augmented) reality applications 
  • Encouraging sustainability: Rewarding tourists for eco-friendly behaviours
  • Informed decision making: Building solutions that gather data and provide analytics for the tourism sector
  • Skilled digital workforce: Creating a generation of tourism professionals and entrepreneurs
  • Investor attraction: Establishing and engaging a network of tourism investors through digital platforms

Al Khateeb added: “We must embrace the opportunities that the digital era presents us. We are welcoming the most innovative, disruptive minds in the world to create better digital tourism regulations.

“We want travellers and investors to have certainty that smart regulations are being adopted across the sector. Saudi Arabia will continue to pioneer and lead these efforts at a national and global scale, ultimately creating more jobs, more prosperity and bringing more visitors into the Kingdom.”


In order to develop the initiative, the Ministry aligned with entities across the tourism ecosystem, including the Saudi Tourism Authority and the Tourism Development Fund. The strategy has been endorsed by the UNWTO, the World Bank and digital partners, such as Microsoft and CISCO.

The Ministry of Tourism is working with the UN World Tourism Organisation to establish a Tourism Academy to train young people who wish to enter the sector

The Ministry has also developed a series of 31 new standards to enhance the quality of the kingdom’s tourism training.

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