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New visa scheme brings record 24,000 tourists to Saudi Arabia


Saudi-ArabiaAccording to a survey, Saudi Arabia welcomed a record 24,000 foreign visitors within the first 10 days of instant tourism visa implementation, a new initiative by the Kingdom to boost tourism and minimize reliance on oil revenue. China topped the list of visitors to the kingdom, followed by the UK and US.


European nations France and Germany, with Canada, Malaysia and Russia just behind the top three, were also on the list. Australia and Kazakhstan ranked ninth and 10th.


The recently announced visa system was introduced as part of the Vision 2030 initiative in an effort to draw 100 million visitors by 2030. Besides religious travel, the new visa does not exclude any visitor on religious grounds and successful applicants may make multiple visits to the kingdom within a span of 12 months, given that each visit does not exceed 90 days, the report said.