1.7 million jobs in tourism by 2020

Updated 04 August 2015

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.


Virgin Galactic reveals futuristic outpost for space tourism

Updated 16 August 2019

Virgin Galactic reveals futuristic outpost for space tourism

  • Critics suggested the project was a boondoggle, but supporters argued that there were bound to be hard and sometimes costly lessons
  • The interior spaces unveiled Thursday aim to connect paying customers with every aspect of the operation

UPHAM, New Mexico: Spaceport America is no longer just a shiny shell of hope that space tourism would one day launch from this remote spot in the New Mexico desert.
The once-empty hangar that anchors the taxpayer-financed launch and landing facility has been transformed into a custom-tailored headquarters where Virgin Galactic will run its commercial flight operations.
Two levels within the spaceport include mission control, a preparation area for pilots and a lounge for paying customers and their friends and families, with each element of the fit and finish paying homage to either the desert landscape that surrounds the futuristic outpost or the promise of traveling to the edge of space.
From hotel rooms to aircraft cabins, the Virgin brand touts its designs for their focus on the customer experience. Spaceport is no different.
Earthen tones help ground visitors on the first floor. The social hub includes an interactive digital walkway and a coffee bar made of Italian marble. On the upper deck, shades of white and gray speak to Virgin Galactic’s more lofty mission.
Company officials, offering the first glimpse of the facility Thursday, say the space is meant to create “an unparalleled experience” as customers prepare for what Virgin Galactic describes as the journey of a lifetime.
Just how soon customers will file into Virgin Galactic’s newly outfitted digs for the first commercial flights has yet to be determined. A small number of test flights are still needed.
Billionaire Richard Branson, who is behind Virgin Galactic, and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, first pitched the plan for the spaceport nearly 15 years ago.
There were construction delays and cost overruns. Virgin Galactic’s spaceship development took far longer than expected and had a major setback when its first experimental craft broke apart during a 2014 test flight, killing the co-pilot.
Critics suggested the project was a boondoggle, but supporters argued that there were bound to be hard and sometimes costly lessons.
Democratic state Sen. George Munoz has enduring concerns about the business model for commercial, low-orbit travel for passengers.
“You can have all the money in the world and come back and say, ‘Was my 30 seconds of fame worth that risk?’” he said.
Munoz says New Mexico’s anticipated return on investment in terms of jobs and visitors is still overdue, with more than $200 million public funds spent on Spaceport America in cooperation with Virgin Galactic as anchor tenant.
At the facility Thursday, the carrier plane for Virgin’s rocket-powered passenger ship made a few passes and touch-and-goes over a runway.
Behind the spaceport’s signature wall of curved glass, mission control sits on the second floor with an unobstructed view of the runway and beyond.
There’s also space behind two massive sliding doors to accommodate two of Virgin Galactic’s carrier planes and a fleet of six-passenger rocket ships.
Virgin Galactic posted on social media earlier this week that its carrier plane had landed in New Mexico and its main operating base was now at the spaceport. And Branson said the wing of Virgin’s next rocket ship has been completed.
Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said once the test flights are complete, commercial operations can begin.
Chief Pilot Dave Mackay said the crew in the coming days will fly simulated launch missions to ensure in-flight communications and airspace coordination work as planned. The pilots also will be familiarizing themselves with New Mexico’s airspace and landmarks.
“New Mexico is on track to become one of the very few places on this beautiful planet which regularly launches humans to space,” Mackay said.
Branson will be among them. About 600 people have reserved a seat, according to the company, at a cost of $250,000 a ticket.
That buys them a ride on the winged rocket ship, which is dropped in flight from the carrier airplane. Once free, it fires its rocket motor to hurtle toward the boundary of space before gliding back down.
The latest test flight reached an altitude of 56 miles (90 kilometers) while traveling at three times the speed of sound.