RIYADH: Authorities in Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement to enhance cooperation in tourist-transport services within the Kingdom, support marine tourism, and develop and promote tourism in the western and eastern regions.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by the Saudi Railways Company, known as SAR, and Cruise Saudi, which is responsible for developing the Kingdom’s cruise sector.
Bashar Al-Malik, the CEO of Saudi Railways, said: “Signing this memorandum with Saudi Cruise comes as part of SAR’s efforts to support marine tourism in the Kingdom and provide distinguished transportation services that contribute to attracting more international tourists to enjoy the Kingdom’s touristic advantages, advance this vital and important sector, and to enhance its role as an important tributary of the national economy.”
The agreement supports SAR’s strategy to provide a safe, effective and reliable railway network linking the Kingdom’s regions and serving all sectors, he added, with the aim of achieving a 17 percent reduction in fuel consumption by 2030, promoting social and economic development and growth, and achieving the goals of the national strategy for transport and logistics for the country to become a global logistics center.
Lars Clasen, the CEO of Cruise Saudi, said the aim of the agreement is to build a meaningful and fruitful partnership with SAR to promote cruise tourism as a new and promising sector that actively contributes to the development of the country’s growing tourism industry.
He added that it will support the aims of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy relating to the promotion of domestic tourism and increasing its growth to advance the progress of the Saudi economy, diversify sources of national income and create more job opportunities for locals.
Clasen said that under the deal, Cruise Saudi passengers will be transported from King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam to Al-Ahsa city, which is known for its rich cultural and historical heritage. Cruise Saudi passengers will also be taken from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah to Makkah, Madinah and King Abdullah Economic City, and vice versa, on SAR trains.
The deal is line line with the strategic plans of both companies to help develop the western and eastern regions through qualitative projects and investments.