Saudi encourages cruises


SAUDI – According to directions of HRH Prince Nief bin Abdul-Aziz, the Minister of the Interior and chairman of the SCTA’s board of directors, the SCTA organized a field trip for seven days for a team formed of several government bodies. The trip aims at examining the two experiments of Malta Republic and Dubai in the field of receiving the tourism ships.

The trip is among the SCTA’s attempts to develop mechanisms and skills to raise the level of receiving the tourism ships. The KSA has actually started to receive a number of ships that carry groups of tourists, who are accompanied by Saudi tour guides. The tourists were impressed by the KSA’s heritage, culture, and development. Also, the tourists showed their respect for the community, and they were committed to the local regulations.

The team included members from the SCTA, the General Organization of Sea Ports, the General Directorate of Passports, and the General Directorate of Border Guard. The activity of receiving tourism ships is important to promote tourism, provide job opportunities in the reception lounge, tourism guidance, tourism services, and others. This activity grows remarkably at the world level since the demand increases annually with a percentage of 152% from 1995 to the last year.

During its visit to Malta, the delegation met with the Minister of Tourism, who gave a presentation about development of receiving tourism ships and followed procedures. Also, the delegation visited Dubai and met with the manager of Dubai tourism port and the senior officials, and it recognized the port establishments and passengers’ reception lounge, which was opened recently.

The team members benefited from the two visits and realized the importance of taking the necessary steps and activating partnership with the private sector in the field of passengers’ lounge development and tourism ship reception by the investment. In addition, the team found that it is necessary to create facilitations in the fees and services.

The concluding report of the visit recommended the SCTA, in coordination with the General Organization of Sea Ports, organizing workshops in order to raise the private sector’s awareness (tour operators, travel agents) of the development means of tourism ship reception.