UNWTO praises ‘amazing’ tourism development

Updated 10 October 2015
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UNWTO praises ‘amazing’ tourism development

ABHA: The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has praised the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) for its development projects across the country.
Omar Valdez, executive head of the UNWTO’s Themis Foundation, said that his organization was also working closely with the Kingdom to host several seminars, and supports a study on using tourism to boost local communities.
The UNWTO and the Kingdom have already held joint seminars on tourism related issues in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, said Valdez recently at a seminar held here.
He said he has been amazed at the significant development in Asir since he visited three years ago. More could be done to attract mountaineers and outdoor lovers to the region’s mountainous areas, he said.
Adel Radhi, deputy minister of tourism and UNWTO consultant, said he has been involved in several projects to develop Asir as a major tourist destination, including some in Souda, Al-Habla village, Tanumah and Al-Namas.
Radhi said there should be more organized programs and trips to the region, with guides. He also urged local businesspeople to contribute by investing in hotels, restaurants and cafes needed in the region.
He also praised Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the SCTNH, for launching various tourist initiatives in the region and country, including the handicraft program.
Addis Sivash, a tourism expert with the UNWTO, said that there should be more promotion done on social networking sites, to keep the public informed of events taking place in the region.
She proposed that all programs and events should not only be held in Arabic, but also English, to attract larger numbers of local and international tourists.
The UNWTO delegation participated in the seminar on tourism developments in the region and visited various popular locations including Al-Muftaha village, Rijal village and Al-Souda park.


Saudi tourism body considers funds for 6 tourism projects worth SR71 million

The funds will go toward developing a range of plans across the hospitality sector, including hotels, conference centers, infrastructure and tourist resorts. (SPA)
Updated 17 April 2019
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Saudi tourism body considers funds for 6 tourism projects worth SR71 million

  • Saudi Arabia’s vision on the tourism sector is based on its basic values and culture in the first place, followed by the economic importance and regional and international weight it enjoys

RIYADH: The Saudi Commission of Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has announced plans to fund 33 new tourism projects across the Kingdom, as part of a lending initiative to aid the sector in underdeveloped Saudi regions.
Abdul Majid bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Nasser, the SCTH’s director general of tourism investment, said that the initiative, in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, approved proposals for 33 projects at a cost of more than SR1,100 billion ($294 million).
Al-Nasser added that a joint committee formed by the SCTH and the ministry was also studying funding for six other projects worth an additional SR71 million.
The funds will go toward developing a range of plans across the hospitality sector, including hotels, conference centers, infrastructure and tourist resorts. The hope is that, as well as highlighting the many attractions on offer in less-heralded parts of the country, the initiative will also lead to an upswing in job creation.
Saudi Arabia’s vision on the tourism sector is based on its basic values and culture in the first place, followed by the economic importance and regional and international weight it enjoys, as well as its value-based interaction with other communities.
Earlier this month, SCTH undertook registration of 1,127 artifacts and relics that it successfully managed to restore from America, in coordination with the Saudi Foreign Ministry. Some of the items recovered date back to prehistoric times.
The director-general of archiving and protecting antiquities at SCTH, Naif Al-Qannour, said the commission had stepped up its efforts to recover national treasures from inside and outside the Kingdom.
Al-Qannour added that many of the objects had been voluntarily handed over to the Kingdom by relatives of US citizens who worked in Saudi Arabia during the 1960s.