The austere kingdom, which forbids alcohol and has a strict social code, is seen by many as a hard sell for tourists.
Prince Mohammed is seeking to change that through a sweeping liberalisation drive that has brought new cinemas, mixed-gender concerts and sporting extravaganzas to Saudi Arabia.
International criticism of the kingdom's human rights record, including the gruesome murder last year of critic Jamal Khashoggi and a crackdown on female activists, could further put off foreign visitors, observers say.
Fears of a regional conflict after the September 14 attacks on state oil giant Aramco may also dampen the kingdom's appeal to holidaymakers.
Visas are currently restricted to expat workers, their dependents and Muslim pilgrims travelling to holy sites in Mecca and Medina.
Saudi Arabia last year began issuing visas to visitors to attend sporting and cultural events in a bid to kickstart tourism.
The government, reeling from low oil prices, says it hopes tourism will contribute up to 10 per cent of the gross domestic product by 2030, compared to three percent currently.