MUSCAT: Saudi Arabia took part in the fourth meeting of ministers responsible for tourism and culture in the GCC countries in Muscat, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
The meeting at the Omani capital discussed a number of issues that enrich tourism in the region.
In his address, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), reviewed part of the Kingdom’s national tourism strategy, in addition to the recent announcement that Saudi Arabia would open its doors to tourists from around the world.
Al-Khateeb said that the Kingdom’s decision is part of the Vision 2030 reform plans on investing in tourism as a major source of income and employment.
“Saudi Arabia, with its unique tourist destinations, giant projects and a rich cultural heritage spanning thousands of years, presents itself to the world as a global tourist destination,” said the SCTH chief.
He added that the Kingdom believes that the integrated promotion of tourism between the GCC countries will have a positive impact on their economies.
Al-Khateeb said that by 2030, the Kingdom will host about 100 million tourists. He added that the national income from tourism will reach 10 percent and the sector will be able to provide 1 million jobs for Saudis.
The participants recommended holding meetings to promote shared tourism work, thanking the Kingdom for its initiatives, including the “Living the Gulf” program, which was adopted as a joint action program.
They also suggested a mechanism for establishing an exhibition for Gulf crafts and industries.
The meeting recommended the adoption of a unified tourism guideline system in the region.
Finally, Ras Al-Khaimah was adopted as the capital of Gulf tourism for 2020.