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1.7 million jobs in tourism by 2020

RIYADH: A report of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage predicts the rate of growth in job opportunities in the country's tourism sector between 2010 and 2020 will be 10 percent a year as compared to a global growth rate of 2.5 percent for the same period.
The report pointed out that job opportunities in the tourism sector will reach 1.7 million by 2020, which is the same as the rates of direct and indirect jobs in the labor market for the tourism and other sectors that are related to, or that benefit from, tourism such as restaurants, transportation, building and constructing tourism facilities, gifts shops, service providers in tourist locations as well as other jobs that are generated from tourism.
Tourism is considered among the most important economic sectors in terms of providing job opportunities, and second in terms of Saudization.
According to studies conducted by the SCTNH, job opportunities are expected to reach this figure (in the tourism and other related sectors), if sufficient support is extended to investments in tourism through approving rules and tourist funding programs. Jobs will result from the expected growth of tourism and sectors related to it.
Job opportunities in tourism reached more than 751,000 last year, with Saudis forming 27.1 percent of the total number of workers in the sector. Tourism is the second most important economic sector after banking in terms of Saudization.
Coffee shops and restaurants have the largest share of job opportunities with 48 percent of the total number of workers in the tourism sector, followed by transportation with 26 percent, accommodation, entertainment and tourist attractions, while travels agencies come at the bottom of the list with 2 percent.
On the global level, tourism today is the biggest service sector with 40 percent of global services trading, and 11 percent of the value of global exports from goods and services.

It’s also the first source of foreign currency with 38 percent, achieving an advanced place between other economic sectors as a major source of income, exports, and attracting investments, while raising living standards by providing hundreds of thousands of job opportunities, in countries that give priority to the tourist sector. Tourism is expected to provide more than 337 million job opportunities worldwide by 2020.
The tourism sector has a great effect on all sectors of the national economy, as the impact of tourism isn’t limited to related tourism sectors such as travel agencies, land, marine and airports, hotels and residential units, restaurants and rest areas. Rather, it expands to include a large number of economic activities that are encouraged by the tourism sector such as transport, consumer goods stores, traditional artifacts, agricultural activities, food industries, museums and urbanization, conferences and shopping malls, in addition to other activities that are related to tourism.
Decisions and regulations issued recently by the commission, including the funding program for tourist and hotel projects, will contribute to increasing hotel investments in various parts of the Kingdom and the establishment of tourist projects in the entertainment sector and projects to invest in national heritage sites. This will also provide job opportunities for citizens.