One million people needed in Saudi tourism workforce to achieve Vision 2030 goal, says Red Sea Development Co. CEO

Top officials discuss tourism’s potential in KSA at the forum. (AN/Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 19 November 2019

One million people needed in Saudi tourism workforce to achieve Vision 2030 goal, says Red Sea Development Co. CEO

  • John Pagano made the statement during the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh

RIYADH: In order to achieve the Saudi government’s goal of attracting 100 million visitors to the Kingdom by 2030, “we need over 1 million people to enter the tourism workforce,” said John Pagano, CEO of the Red Sea Development Co.

Today that “doesn’t exist,” added Pagano, who was speaking at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday. There is huge potential in Saudi Arabia to expand beyond religious tourism, he said. The Red Sea Project, a luxury tourism development in the Kingdom, will create 70,000 new jobs, he added.

Pagano said the Red Sea Development Co. has launched scholarships abroad to study international hospitality management.

“Within four days, we had 12,700 applicants enthusiastic to pursue careers in hospitality,” he added. “The future is golden for the youth of Saudi Arabia if you want to pursue a career in tourism.”

At 28,000 sq. km, the Red Sea Project is “the size of Belgium,” Pagano said. He cautioned, however, that the environment should be respected. “The environment is our most valuable asset. If we damage that, we damage everything,” he said.

At the same session, Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, said 55,000 jobs will be created by 2030 in developing the historical town of Diriyah. “We’ve been given the resources to develop on every level,” he added.

Gerard Mertrallet, the French president’s special envoy for AlUla, said there are “lots of opportunities for young people” in the tourism sector. The governorate of AlUla contains Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mertrallet said people from AlUla are being trained in culinary schools in France so as to become chefs. Tourism “has to be inclusive” and “respect the landscape,” he added.

 

 

 

 


Recent archaeological discoveries highlight Saudi Arabia as ‘a cradle of human civilizations,’ Rome conference told

Updated 06 December 2019

Recent archaeological discoveries highlight Saudi Arabia as ‘a cradle of human civilizations,’ Rome conference told

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has become a leader in the field of archaeological research in the past five years, a major exhibition in Rome was told.

Abdullah Al-Zahrani, director-general of archaeological research and studies at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, said that 44 international archaeological missions had been carried out this year in the Kingdom.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the “Roads of Arabia: Masterpieces of Antiquities in Saudi Arabia Across the Ages” exhibition, which opened at the National Museum of Rome on Nov. 26.

The groundbreaking exhibition was inaugurated by Saudi Minister of Culture Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan and Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities Dario Franceschini.

Al-Zahrani said that the Kingdom “has become one of the most advanced countries in terms of archaeological disclosures.”

“Recent discoveries by local and international missions have highlighted the Kingdom’s historical status and cultural depth as the cradle of the beginnings of human civilizations,” he said.

Archaeological discoveries continue to “instil the civilized dimension of the Kingdom,” he said.

“The religious, political, economic and cultural stature that Saudi Arabia enjoys is an extension of its long cultural heritage, in addition to its distinctive geographical position as a bridge and hub of cultural interaction between East and West that made it a meeting point for international land and sea trade routes throughout all ages,” he added.