Secretary General of Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Commission for Tourism (SCT) Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz moderated a conference session today bringing together viewpoints of various tourism operators, which included airlines, travel agencies and the general hospitality sector.
The session was part of a three-day seminar, which is organized by the Middle East Committee of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO). Prince Sultan highlighted SCT’s vision for further developing Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry through the creation of public and private sector partnerships, which he said could also be applied to other nations eager to develop their economies through the important role of the tourism sector.
He pointed out that the ‘partnership principle’ has been applied by the board of SCT, whereby all parties that have a direct interest in the development of tourism and national economy are represented. Furthermore, a white paper entitled ‘Effective Partnership and the Tourism Industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A New Mode of Performance’ has been approved by the board and adopted as its working strategy
Tourism-partnership programs currently being instigated by SCT encompass a wide range of areas. Among these are sustainability, provincial and national policies, quality control, systems enhancements, development of infrastructure, finance and investment, support to small and medium size enterprise, co-ordination of marketing and media efforts, product development, training and education, health and environment, security and safety, and culture.
Saudi Arabia’s 20-year strategic plan for the development of tourism - broken down into tactical five-year programs - is designed to make the country a major attraction among domestic and international tourists.
“The Kingdom is already more than capable of handling mass tourism – some 57.6 million domestic trips are currently registered per year, in addition to 7.5 million inbound trips. For the year 2020, we project combined total of 141 million trips, which in turn could lead to the creation of between 1.5 and 2.3 million tourism-related jobs,” added Prince Sultan.
Saudi Arabia’s main drivers in developing the tourism industry are: economic diversification, creating new job opportunities, achieving economic equilibrium, attracting investments from the private sector, and conservation of its cultural and environmental heritage. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )