SCTA notes uptrend in domestic tourism
The Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA) has noted an upward trend in domestic tourism thanks to the number of Saudis and foreigners traveling within the Kingdom during Ramadan.
“One reason for this is the SCTA’s support for local tourism by ensuring quality, controlling prices and diversifying tourist destinations,” Mishari Al-Naim, built heritage head at the SCTA, told Arab News on Thursday.
He said that festivals are being held in several regions with the advent of Ramadan coinciding with the summer season.
Al-Naim said that locals will witness a Ramadan festival, whose activities will continue for 34 days from the beginning of Ramadan into the following month, with special events highlighting local traditions and customs.
Taif, meanwhile, will hold the “Al-Khalidiya entertainment and marketing festival” for the summer, which includes a site for families and features many entertainment and education sites, in addition to areas for recreational and fireworks displays.
In Hofuf, the Al-Ahsa tourist family festival will also be held at the King Abdullah Environmental Park for a month.
The Jazan summer festival in the heritage village continues to attract the public, while Al-Baha’s summer festival will also run during the month of fasting.
Al-Naim noted that there were more than 23.8 million domestic trips made in the Kingdom last year, up from 19 million the previous year.
An SCTA report said that expenditure for domestic tourism last year exceeded SR28 billion and that the number of Saudis working in the tourism sector touched more than 203,200.
The figure represents 27.1 percent of the total employees in direct jobs, pointing out that the contribution of domestic tourism to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to SR75 billion in 2013.