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 Growing revenue peps up investors in tourism sector
 ( Published On Monday 21 November 2016, 21 Safar 1438, Time: 12:59)

Growing revenue peps up investors in tourism sector

Al-Balad — Jeddah


Domestic tourism has flourished in recent years and the resultant dividend has encouraged Saudi businessmen and businesswomen to invest more funds in this sector.


“Recent statistics revealed remarkable increase in tourism revenues,” said a tourism official who requested anonymity. “This has convinced investors to put more money in the sector.”


Tourism festivals being held in various parts of the Kingdom, especially in the tourist resorts of Abha, Baha, Taif and Jeddah also attracted a large number of visitors.


“The government considers the tourism sector as a major source for diversification of revenue,” the official told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.


He said the government has been providing all support to the tourism sector considering its significance and has been exerting strenuous efforts to transform it into a productive economic sector.


“The tourism sector offers not only a good opportunity to investors but also millions of new jobs to young Saudi men and women to help them earn a decent living,” he explained.


The sector receives a big boost with the influx of millions of pilgrims who come for Haj and Umrah every year. “The Vision 2030 aims at increasing the number of Haj and Umrah pilgrims to 30 million annually,” the official said.


Saudi Arabia is replete with tourist attractions including historical sites such as Madain Saleh, Diriyah and the Historical Area in Jeddah. These places currently draw a large number of foreign tourists.


“The new vision aims at developing tourism as a productive and revenue earning sector,” the official said, adding that the Kingdom expects the arrival of a large number of foreign tourists from different parts of the world to spend their vacation.


“The tourism sector will definitely play an important role in boosting the Kingdom’s economy and accelerating its growth. The Kingdom is capable of adding value to the sector,” he said.


The sector offers a golden opportunity to domestic investors to implement new projects. The planned 450-km Makkah-Madinah high-speed railway will boost the sector.


Apart from religious tourism, the vision aims at promoting medical tourism making use of the Kingdom’s advanced health centers. Some of these centers have been successful in conducting rare surgeries and providing treatment for tumors.


“Our medical centers match up to advanced health facilities around the world,” the official said.


Saudi Arabia is famous for conducting sensitive operations for the separation of conjoined twins.


The salubrious climate in Taif attracts a large number of foreign tourists to the Kingdom. “Taif is one of the best places for healing and recuperation,” the official pointed out. – SG

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