Saudi Arabia witnessing a big renaissance in tourism, says KSA heritage chief

Prince Sultan bin Salman
Prince Sultan bin Salman

Prince Sultan bin Salman

:: Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), has confirmed that Saudi Arabia is witnessing a significant renaissance in tourism with the support of King Salman, who directed attention to be paid to this vital sector.

In his address at the 8th Session of Tourism Ministers of the Group 20, which opened in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires on Tuesday, the prince said the commission has submitted a strategy for the development of national tourism, approved by the state in 2005, to be one of the most important engines of the economy in the national transformation program and adopted as a central element, along with heritage and culture, in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

He pointed out that the Kingdom has announced through several government institutions investments amounting to nearly half a trillion US dollars in large projects characterized by tourism in a number of regions.

Prince Sultan noted the importance of inviting ministers of culture and heritage officials to participate in the meetings of tourism ministers from the G-20 countries, from the next session in Japan which will be followed by one in the Kingdom.

He added: “By examining offers and plans presented by the G-20 countries, we have noticed that it is impossible to separate tourism from culture and heritage.

“Not only is tourism an economic engine, it also plays an important role in cross-cultural communication and the convergence of people and nations.”

Prince Sultan highlighted the fact that the SCTH and the tourism sector have received considerable support from the government in the past two years in terms of regulations, laws, and project funding.

“The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is now playing a major role in establishing tourism projects,” he said, emphasizing that the SCTH has partnered with the PIF to launch several tourist destinations and tourism companies.

He added: “For us, tourism isn’t a sector but an industry. We, alongside our partners, have managed to establish and enhance 33 regional and specialized museums in which we employ many Saudi men and women who have graduated from universities abroad and can speak multiple languages.”

On the sidelines of the session, Prince Sultan signed an agreement with Argentine Minister of Tourism Gustavo Santos to enhance cooperation in tourism and heritage. The prince said the commission is working on benefiting from advanced and rich experiences in different countries of the world.

Our international agreements are an important source for developing our business, he said, as they contribute to the exchange of expertise.

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