Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has called for making use of international expertise and experiences when organizing summer festivals.
“We have to develop top-class tourism products in order to compete with other countries,” the governor said while launching Jeddah Ghair festival on Wednesday.
Prince Khaled was happy with the festivities during the inauguration. “I take this opportunity to congratulate Jeddah people on this creative festival.”
He said he expected Jeddah Ghair to witness more innovative programs in the coming years to make the festival more impressive.
Prince Khaled commended Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed, chairman of the organizing committee, for the marvelous opening ceremony. He also honored the festival’s sponsors during the event.
Prince Mishaal thanked Prince Khaled for coming to open the event. “We have introduced a number of new programs this year based on our experiences over the past 14 years,” he said.
Saleh Kamil, chairman of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), emphasized the importance of tourism. “Previously we were not giving so much importance to domestic tourism. But the fact that 4 million Saudis go abroad every year for tourism has opened the eyes of many,” he said.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) has said in a report that tourist spending within the Kingdom reached SR 46 billion in 2011 while spending by Saudis abroad amounted to SR 36 billion.
Kamil commended Prince Khaled for his efforts to promote tourism in Makkah province. “Jeddah has a lot of tourism potential. It has 70 fun cities, 360 commercial centers and 105 traditional souks in addition to its beautiful coastal areas.”
Khaled Al-Harithy, chairman of the executive committee, underscored the progress achieved by Jeddah Ghair. “The strategy of Jeddah tourism festival changed this year. It has become an integrated program involving all sectors,” he added.
He said 22 workshops have been conducted at JCCI to discuss the new shape of Jeddah Ghair and finalize its various programs after analyzing the shortcomings of past festivals. Jeddah Ghair is now managed by 11 committees comprising enthusiastic young men and women, he pointed out. “Apart from print and electronic media, we used social media to promote the festival.”