A million Saudis are employed in tourism

Updated 08 November 2013

A million Saudis are employed in tourism

Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector is the second largest economic sector to provide job opportunities to Saudis, said Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, adding that the sector has employed about 1 million citizens.
“More and more Saudis are now interested in working for the travel and tourism sector,” Prince Sultan told the consultative Shoura Council. “Officials have confirmed that the tourism sector would become the largest employer in the coming years,” he added. He said that the SCTA’s partnership agreements with governorates, ministries and other agencies have won praise from the World Bank.
“We have signed 88 such agreements so far,” he added. He also disclosed that the SCTA was working for the recovery of a Roman-era ship that was found near Qunfudah.
Prince Sultan emphasized his organization’s plan to develop heritage sites that are on the verge of collapse into tourist destinations by renovating them. However, he reminded Shoura members that such an endeavor requires large amounts of funding.
He said the government has offered support to build more infrastructure facilities at tourist centers in various parts of the country. “The Saudi leadership has been removing obstacles facing tourism projects.”
A state-owned tourism company financed by the Public Investment Fund will be established shortly to carry out service projects for new tourist centers, he said. “We are ready to provide six new tourist centers to develop these companies,” he added.
Prince Sultan also spoke about plans to develop Taif and Farasan Island. “We have set out a comprehensive plan for the preservation of Islamic historical sites in Makkah, Madinah and other regions,” he said.
He said every million invested would create at least five direct jobs. The Al-Oqair project in Al-Ahsa, he said, would generate an 18 percent return to investors. The increasing numbers of Saudis visiting foreign tourist destinations would only encourage the SCTA to develop domestic tourism facilities and services, the prince said.
“We will work with the Saudi Arabian Airlines to provide an adequate number of seats to tourist centers in the Kingdom. We will also discuss the construction of improved road infrastructure for these centers with the Transport Ministry.” The SCTA would target 65 foreign nationalities for tourism, he said.
The prince said the organization was keeping a watch on hotels and other service providers and have traced over 10,000 violations and taken punitive actions against them.
He also noted the Shoura’s contributions to drafting the Kingdom’s regulations. “The SCTA has learned a lot from the Shoura and its observations and proposals,” he said while welcoming Shoura’s criticisms.
Shoura President Abdullah Al-Asheikh had earlier commended the SCTA for its contributions to develop the Kingdom’s tourism sector and preserve its Islamic and cultural heritage.


Saudi CERT warns against phishing attacks in relation to COVID-19

Updated 10 April 2020

Saudi CERT warns against phishing attacks in relation to COVID-19

JEDDAH: The Saudi Computer Emergency Response Team (Saudi CERT) has warned that people are using the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to initiate online phishing scams and attempt to steal personal information.

“Be careful and beware of messages that you could receive from fake accounts under the name of  the Ministry of Health asking you to click on an unknown link,” Saudi CERT wrote on Twitter.

Saudi CERT shared a number of tips to avoid falling for such scams: “Continuously follow reliable news sources from the Ministry of Health’s official accounts, make sure that the messages received are from official accounts and check with the sender before opening anonymous links.”