2014-01-09 08:16:01 - Saudi Arabia Tourism Report Q1 2014 - a new market research report on companiesandmarkets.com
The Saudi Arabia Tourism Report examines the significant long-term potential offered by the tourism industry, but highlights the potential downward pressure that regional uncertainty could have on arrival numbers as the political landscape changes.
One key development has been the news that Saudi Arabia is easing its visa regime. Analysts believe this is a highly positive development for the sector. In November 2013 the country announced a relaxation of visa restrictions on overseas visitors, allowing foreign nationals travelling to the country for pilgrimage to stay for a longer period of 30 days. Under the ´Extended Umrah Tourism Programme´, launched in December, the Umrah (pilgrimage) visa will be converted into a tourist visa upon expiry. This marks a significant step forward in
Saudi Arabia´s tourism ambitions: the authorities have not issued tourist visas to visitors until now, limiting entry for most nationals outside the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Some 65 countries will reportedly be eligible for the scheme. Although a precise list has not yet been announced, it is likely to include most Muslim countries.
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