RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has become the most dynamic place for hospitality in the world thanks to the initiatives put forward by the Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy, according to a top official from the Kingdom.
Speaking at the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Khalid, secretary-general of the King Faisal Foundation and chairman of hospitality investment firm Al Khozama, said that tourism is driving the future of the Saudi economy.
“The long tradition of hospitality in Saudi Arabia has, within the last few years, taken an exciting and ambitious new form. Saudi Arabia is perhaps the most dynamic place today in the world of hospitality. It is truly a privilege for all of us in the hospitality industry in Saudi Arabia to be able to work in such exciting times and in a sector so central to the culture and traditions,” said the official.
He added: “Hospitality has always been an essential element of Arabian culture, identity and tradition. In the present era, with Vision 2030, and the emphasis placed by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, tourism has become a cornerstone of the Saudi Arabian economy.”
Tourism is a key strategic area outlined in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, as the Kingdom aims to attract 100 million visitors by the end of this decade.
The top official of the King Faisal Foundation further outlined the progress Saudi Arabia will make in the coming years.
“Riyadh will double its population within the next few years. Diriyah will develop dozens of new hotels, tourist and sports attractions. Qiddiya will offer entertainment and will become a community of 650,000 people. Resorts are being built on the Red Sea. In NEOM, an all-new kind of sustainable city is being created that will challenge existing assumptions about what makes communities successful,” he added.
Earlier this month, Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Al-Ibrahim said the Kingdom would not “shy away” from boosting its tourism and tourism-related sectors as it seeks to become a global hub for travelers.
“These are sectors that did not exist in the past, and we’re trying to catch up,” said Al-Ibrahim, speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California.
The ongoing edition of FHS is being held under the theme “Invest in Change,” focusing on the importance of sustainability, innovation, startups and human capital development.