Saudi targets sports tourism sector growth

Saudi targets sports tourism sector growth

A new report published by KPMG underlines the sector’s potential

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Sport and Ministry of Tourism have set ambitious targets for the growth of the kingdom’s sports tourism sector, according to a recent report from consultancy KPMG.

Titled Competitive edge: The unfolding potential for sports tourism in Saudi Arabia, KMPG’s publication states that the sports sector currently accounts for 0.2% of the country’s GDP, while the tourism sector contributes about 3%.

The report presents a model of four different categories of sports tourism – destination-dependent sports tourism, alternative location sports tourism, participation-driven sports tourism and spectator sports tourism – with a global case study supporting each type. Across these categories, the model emphasises coordination between organisers, principally the private sector, public sector enablers and national tourism promoters, to attract foreign tourists for both sport events and participation.


Commenting on the findings, KPMG Saudi Arabia partner, Government and Public Sector, Hanan Alowain said: “These events are targeted at this time in repositioning the Saudi brand as a sports destination and thereby influencing the tourism demand in other elements of this model.

 “The kingdom’s reputation as a safe, welcoming tourist destination and its familiarity among religious tourists may draw them back to the Kingdom for non-religious tourism purposes or may encourage them to stay longer and diversify the purpose of their visit.” 

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