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Saudi Arabia: the destination for the future?

Saudi Arabia wants to open to tourism.

While the country is still very dependent on petroleum, the country of 32.5 million inhabitants hopes to open up to global tourism and will soon deliver tourist visas. Tourism is one of the pillars of the plan "Vision 2030" that was announced in 2016 with a goal to restructuring the Saudi economy.

Until now the destination had been well known for religious tourism, with pilgrims from Mecca and Medina. Authorities would like to promote the volcanic crater of Al Wahbah, which is not highly visited. "The principal challenge consists in making these tourist sites accessible," according to the private guide Amr Khalifa.

The Gulf country plans to double its number of visitors and aims at 30 million tourists per year by 2030.

Justin Wateridge, general manager of the agency Steppes Travel, based in Great Britain declared to the AFP that the country "has a great deal of potential, we know this thanks to the growing demand that is apparent in our [customer] database."

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