Several issues are challenging tourism development in Saudi Arabia. This research contributes to the understanding of planning issues arising from the tourism development in the Kingdom by identify the barriers and attempts to explore concepts for improving tourism planning. The challenges that face the development of tourism are identified under four sets of issues: social and culture, institutional, environmental policy and regulations, and infrastructure.
The resulting discussion suggests that the main issue in developing tourism in Saudi Arabia is managing people rather than managing the landscape. The recommendations included developing a 'Social Carrying Capacity' model, which could be used as an instrument to measure the social and spatial sense of the ability and willingness of different communities to accommodate domestic and international tourists.