Saudi Arabia is a beautiful nation with many tourist attractions. However, for some time, it became really hard to visit the country just as a tourist and not for work. It appears that this is about to change.
According to sources, the Saudi government is planning on issuing tourists with tourist visas to visit the country. The first stage however, is said to only avail visas to groups of visitors who come through tour operators who are authorized.
According to Al Watan News, the Saudi government has approved a plan to begin issuing tourist visas for the country.
The paper’s sources stated that, in the first stage of the rollout, visas will only be available to groups of visitors through authorized tour operators.
Jamal Al- Fakhri sees this as an all positive move. Al- Fakhri, who is a member of the Shoura Council as well as part of the Tabuk Tourism Development Council executive committee, stated that the move will create job opportunities for the youth in Saudi Arabia like tour guides, once they meet the requirements set out by the Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.
On the same breath, the Jizan SCTH’s branch Head, Rustam AL- Kubaisi alluded to such projects as the annual Souk Okaz in Ta’if, the Asir Development, the Farasan Islands, archaeological sites and museums as great projects that should work to attract tourism into the region.
Rustam added that the SCTH has taken a step further and has been running trainings for young people in the region in the tourism field, touching on topics such as importance of local relics, historical buildings and urban heritage, starting tourism projects, safeguarding tourism projects and so on.
In a closing remark, Rustam added that the Jizan residents are highly friendly and that they welcome tourists with open arms.
“There are many (potential) tour guides who are multilingual and ready to work in the field after meeting the requirements set by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH),” he continued.
Rustam Al-Kubaisi, head of the SCTH’s Jizan branch, cited the Asir development project, the annual Souk Okaz in Ta’if, and the Farasan Islands as examples of tourism initiatives in the Kingdom, as well as museums and archaeological sites.
“The SCTH has been conducting tourism training workshops for the youth on topics including establishing small tourism projects and methods for increasing safety in tourism establishments,” he said. “This is in addition to raising awareness about the importance of relics, urban heritage and historical buildings.”
He added that the people of Jizan are renowned for their hospitality and are ready to welcome tourists from outside the Kingdom.
Source: Arab News