Turkey, Thailand among six new countries added to Saudi e-visa eligible countries

Saudi Arabia expanded its e-visa program to six more countries, the tourism ministry announced on Tuesday.

Travelers from Turkey, Thailand, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, and Mauritius are eligible to apply for the visit visa.

The e-visa will be valid for one year and allows multiple entry. Travelers can stay for 90-day-periods at a stretch.

Saudi Arabia had announced plans to invest up to $1 trillion in its tourism industry, at least half of which has been earmarked for the NEOM mega-project. It is part of a larger years-long plan to transition away from oil-revenue and diversify its economy – a main component of which is tourism.

The e-visa was launched in 2019 to ease access for international tourists into the Kingdom. In 2022, Saudi Arabia extended the eligibility list to include holders of valid Schengen, UK and US visas.

Earlier in 2023, it also launched a stopover visa allowing travelers 96 hours to explore the Gulf state.

Saudi Arabia was ranked second, globally, in terms of tourist arrivals during the first seven months of 2023 according to data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

According to the Kingdom’s Ministry of Tourism, the Gulf nation saw a 58 percent growth in visitor numbers during the first seven months of this year when compared to the same period in 2019.

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