Saudi Arabia has completed and submitted the regulations governing tourist visas to the government for approval, according to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).

According to an SCTH official, an official announcement from the Saudi government is expected soon.

In a statement, the SCTH said that the regulations were reviewed in a series of meetings and workshops held with relevant government institutions, with inputs from investors, tourism and transport professionals and service providers.

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Additionally, Saudi authorities have developed an integrated electronic system to process and record visa transactions, under the supervision of a team headed by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

Arabian Business previously reported that Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz told AFP that "all government approvals" are in place for the launch of electronic visas next year to "all nationals whose countries allow their citizens to visit" Saudi Arabia.

Currently, the Kingdom offers tourist visas to a limited number of countries; however, with a number of restrictions.

This follows a number of recent rules being changed, including announcing that women will be able to drive from June 2018, and lifting the ban on cinemas.

The tourism and hospitality industry is a key focus in this changing market, with nearly 1,300 additional keys added to Saudi Arabia’s hotel market in Q3 2017, and hotel investment in the Kingdom on the rise.