RIYADH: A virtual forum aimed at enriching pilgrims' experiences in the hospitality field was inaugurated on Sunday by Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammed Salih Bentin, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The launch saw the participation of several national and international hospitality companies. The forum seeks to showcase investment opportunities, build long-term strategic partnerships and enable companies to promote and develop their services in integration with the Saudi Global Distribution System (GDS).
“By holding the forum, the ministry seeks to identify and link development opportunities by building strategic partnerships with the private sector when it comes to implementing initiatives that will contribute to a qualitative leap in the pilgrim experience and allow companies to promote their integrated services with the Saudi GDS,” said Bentin.
The initiative aims to promote the Kingdom’s hospitality industry according to the best international standards, enrich pilgrims’ religious journey and cultural experience, and contribute to the achievement of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision reform plan by welcoming a million pilgrims every year from around the world and encouraging them to discover the Kingdom, he added.
“The Saudi GDS will enable Muslims to view the services offered such as approved and secure residential facilities in Makkah and Madinah, which will allow them to review the experiences of previous pilgrims, use the facilities with all transparency and rate the services so that service providers can work on improving them within the framework of honest and clear competition.”
The forum discussed several subjects such as the ministry’s strategies aimed at enriching the pilgrim experience, showcasing the features of the Saudi GDS, the Kingdom’s role in supporting Hajj and Umrah initiatives that achieve the aspirations of Vision 2030, the importance of the GDS in promoting and improving hospitality services, and the requirements and registration mechanism for hospitality service providers in the Saudi GDS.