ISLAMABAD:Saudi families spent more than SR64 billion ($17 billion) on tourism abroad in 2012, making the Kingdom the second biggest family tourism exporter, local media said quoting data released by Dubai Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).
Iran ranked first, spending $18.2 billion, while travelers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) spent $10.1 billion and Kuwaiti tourists $7.4 billion during the same period, Arab news reported.
The report, originally based on data released by Thomson Reuters,said family tourism has accounted for 12.5 percent of the global tourism market and grown in value, from $137 billion in 2012 to $140 billion in 2013.
Tourism spending is projected to reach over $181 billion by 2018.In a related development, Saudi Arabia and Morocco were rated favorably as global tourist destinations, according to data released by Crescent Rating, a leading Muslim travel rating organization based in Singapore.
The Kingdom scored 6.5/10 and Morocco 6.4/10.Malaysia, which attracted more than 170,000 visitors from the Gulf alone during 2013, came first, scoring 8.4, the paper said.
“Tourists from the GCC accounted for 31 percent of overall spending on tourist activities in Malaysia despite the fact that they represent only 3 percent of the Muslim population in the world,” the report said.