His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Emir of Mecca, was pleased with the participation of Taif’s youth who volunteer to work in Okaz Souk, which included 120 volunteers – 30 percent of them from Al-Taif University and 70 percent of them from the local communities surrounding the Souk Okaz.
Volunteers have been assigned specific tasks, such as overseeing the safety and security of visitors, regulation of entry and exit points, organization of parking, responding to queries from visitors and directing them, to supervising the environmental aspects, as well as the cleanliness of the market of the region.
HRH pointed out that this trend is in the context of economic and social objectives that are sought by Souk Okaz through capacity building of the members of the society, as well as providing employment opportunities in the future for them. In the same vein of appreciation, His Royal Highness lauded the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities’ (SCTA) successful efforts in applying this principle.
Regarding volunteering services, Mr. Hamad Al Sheikh, director general of programs and tourism products in the SCTA, said that the experience of voluntary work in Souk Okaz is a result of the attention of the organization to develop the role of the Saudi youth to participate in events and tourist activities, which is deemed to return great benefit to the community, as well as boost the participation of the community in the Souk Okaz.
Indicating to the success of volunteer work, Al-Sheikh said that it is established on accurate scientific basis, and it is the first experience of volunteering to be applied to tourism events. He said, “Our society is conducting a number of occasions for volunteering, but we in the SCTA are keen to apply the proper standards in this regard to take advantage of international expertise in this area, which has been modified to fit with our society. SCTA will continue to work on the development of this experience, as well as circulating it in the various events of tourism throughout the regions of the kingdom.”
Al-Sheikh concluded with the note that this experience comes within the framework of tourism’s social and economic goals that SCTA envisages through the involvement of all members of the local community in tourism activities and events, as well as raising volunteerism among young people of the society.