ABU DHABI: A fully supportive “ecosystem” is in place to ensure Saudi Arabia achieved its Vision 2030 targets for tourism with sustainability at its core, a top Saudi official told one of the closing panels at the three-day Future Hospitality Summit in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
“This (Vision 2030) ambitious strategy is designed to drive economic diversification and improve the quality of (life for) everyone in Saudi Arabia, and I can say it is accelerating forward,” Abdullah Al-Harbi, Kingdom’s assistant deputy minister for investment enablement at Tourism Ministry, said.
Saudi Arabia is aiming to receive 100 million visitors by 2030 under its short-term development strategy, but the country already welcomed more than 94 million tourists last year who reportedly spent $54 billion.
“We have created an entire ecosystem to support the massive effort required,” according to Al-Harbi, describing the various government agencies’ individual and collective responsibilities and contributions to the Kingdom’s tourism efforts.
“The Saudi Tourism Authority is responsible for designing and promoting the physical experience. While its sister entity, the Tourism Development Fund or TDF supports and nurtures SMEs and innovators to establish businesses in the sector,” he explained.
“We, at the Ministry of Tourism, are the primary regulator and promote investments into the sector. We are also responsible for the development of human capital to ensure that the sector has a sustained and operational workforce,” Al-Harbi said.
“We are doing so by training 100,000 Saudis annually to meet the growing demand of the sector.”
He said the ministry also continues to assess and observe lessons learned to ensure constant improvement.