Tourism to 'transform Saudi economy'


Saudi Arabia's Prince Sultan bin Salman, secretary-general of the Supreme Commission for Tourism, has said that the development of tourism will totally transform the kingdom's economy.

He said the tourism industry's contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) will increase from 5.4 to 7.8 per cent with an annual revenue estimated at more than SR20 billion.

The Arab News reported that the prince estimating an increase in the number of tourists visiting the kingdom, from 21 million to 45 million by 2020. He said the tourism sector will also create 1.5 million to 2.3 million jobs.

He said a tourism development strategy has already been developed for the next 20 years.

Spelling out the obstacles faced by his organisation, Prince Sultan said financial constraints were hampering the commission's activities. He said it needs financial allocations to meet expenses.

He said the investment in the tourism sector couldn't be attracted without providing information and ensuring transparency.

The government is planning to make optimum utilisation of the country's tourism potential, without deviating from cultural and social value she said.