JEDDAH: Saudis and expats have expressed their excitement about exploring the destinations featured in the Saudi Tourism Authority’s summer program.
The program, which began on June 24 and runs through to September, covers approximately 500 tourist experiences and 11 destinations across the Kingdom.
Yasmin Mohiuddin, a Bangladeshi expat who is a keen traveler, said she was looking forward to the program.
“Pre-COVID-19, when Saudi Seasons were going on, I enjoyed all of it. Unfortunately, the following year, the whole world faced a pandemic and Saudi Seasons could not take place. I hope this time it is bigger (with) lively vibes. I am sure Riyadh, AlUla, and Tabuk won’t be enjoyable during the heat.
“Taif, Al-Baha, and such regions with pleasant weather conditions during summer will be a hit, where visitors will enjoy the ambiance and sites altogether. If it is anything like the Saudi Seasons, I would sign up for them myself.”
The “Our Summer, Our Mood” campaign targets local and international visitors.
Jeddah, Umluj, and King Abdullah Economic City will have their shores open for tourists.
The mountainous regions of Taif, Al-Baha, and Asir offer thrilling activities. Other places, like Tabuk, AlUla, Riyadh, and Al-Ahsa, have thousands of years worth of history and promise a memorable experience for heritage geeks and enthusiasts.
Fahad Naseem, a 32-year-old expat, said he was glad the government was taking such initiatives to promote local tourism.
“Previously, there was not enough range of hotels and activities when traveling to these places. Now that the government is pushing tourism again, I am hoping that these places will become more and more interesting.”
Some people were simply excited about being able to travel again.
Amna Khalid, a 23-year-old Saudi student, said: “As long as I am in an environment that is safe, I absolutely cannot wait. University this year has been very stressful and I miss going to places like AlUla and Taif. It is even more exciting because I know that the authorities have had time to step up the destinations and make them world-class.”
Further information about the program is available on the Visit Saudi website or the Visit Saudi app.
It is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and helps develop destinations, provide investment opportunities, create permanent and seasonal jobs for locals, and contribute to social and economic development. These efforts will also cement Saudi Arabia’s position as a prominent tourist destination.
The program comes as a second luxury liner is about to start operating from Jeddah for this year’s holiday cruise season.
The Scenic Eclipse, which can carry up to 228 passengers, will sail from Jeddah between July 17 and Dec. 9, with destinations including Yanbu in Saudi Arabia, Aqaba in Jordan, and Port Ghalib Marina in Egypt, which is close to the historical sites of Luxor.