Saudi Arabia is working on plans to pump more money into its tourism industry and improve infrastructure such as hotels and airports. A recent report said the Kingdom plans to invest more than $80bn into tourism related facilities. According to a report published by Al Mazaya Holding, based on the resolution of Saudi Council of Ministers, the emphasis would be laid on corporate, governmental and group tourism rather than individual travellers in order to promote ‘conference tourism’.
The report underlined that conferences and fairs bring much of tourism to the oil-rich nation and hoped that investment in this sector can drive the country’s economic growth and diversify its oil-dominated economy. A study noted that Saudi Arabia lacks facilities that can accommodate participants of conferences and trade fairs but failed to give any recommendation on the nature of investments or time frame to bring improvements. “Care should be given to this kind of tourism to cope with the growing demand for conferences and functions,” the report said.
Saudi Arabia is investing heavily to modernize its public infrastructure in cities like Makkah, Medina, Jeddah, Dammam and its capital, Riyadh. Saudi Arabia aims to make its tourism industry an important part of its economy, particularly as a means of job creation in the country, where 38 per cent of the population is under the age of 15, according to a report by the Oxford Business Group.