Head of the SCTA (or Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities) Prince Sultan bin Salman stated that tourism in Saudi Arabia should be the source of 2.23 million employment positions over the next decade.
The prince noted that nationalization in the industry is expected to hit 45 percent. The chairman was speaking at an SCTA board meeting in Riyadh and stated that tourism is a major generator of job opportunities in Saudi Arabia.
The Prince mentioned the increase in spending throughout the tourism industry as well, noting that it should hit the SR 217 billion level by 2020. Forecasts for investment in tourism are at SR 62 billion for both the public and private sectors throughout the current development plan spanning five years.
Concerning the programs for social welfare as announced by King Abdullah, the Prince noted that the programs put in place by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques show a strong concern for and the top priority of citizens within the government development plans.
Prince Sultan stated that the King’s recent speech was indicative of the place citizens have in the Kingdom’s development – that of the cornerstone and of having a primary responsibility to maintain the level of potential and achievement in the nation.
The decrees from King Abdullah are like a fresh light on the horizon of the Kingdom, according to the Prince, who stated that all Saudis will benefit and find their living conditions improved.
The Prince also noted that it is important to help youth understand the important place that architecture has in their heritage. Youth need to be linked to it in order to absorb the true value of architectural legacies.
He also insisted that the development of Saudi tourism is necessary to speed up economic growth. The way that domestic tourism has been accepted by Saudis was emphasized.
The SCTA put their approval on the strategy put forth by the commission concerning the development of tourism over the next two decades. Policies with regards to tourism and operators within the industry were also up for discussion. There have been 115 licenses issued by the SCTA to agents within the tourism industry.
There was also a proposal approved regarding a national centre covering Saudi’s architectural heritage, which would become the umbrella organization for a variety of projects in this area.Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News