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Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market opens in Riyadh

His Royal Highness Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Riyadh Province, on Monday evening, April 2, launched the Fifth Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market (STTIM-2012), which is organized

Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market opens in Riyadh

His Royal Highness Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Riyadh Province, on Monday evening, April 2, launched the Fifth Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market (STTIM-2012), which is organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) and taking place in the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center in Riyadh.

Addressing the opening ceremony, HRH Governor of Riyadh Province, pointed out that national tourism is witnessing steady growth in its diverse activities and programs, which contributed to an increase in the economic revenues of the provinces, creating jobs for the new generations, as well as linking them to the history and heritage of their country.

“I am delighted to be here with you on this blessed evening, to launch the 5th session of the Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market (STTIM-2012), at the same time the national tourism witnesses steady growth in its different programs and activities in an effort to increase revenues across the provinces in addition to linking new generations to their history and heritage, which is the key concern of the state and is carried out in accordance with the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and HRH Crown Prince (May God protect them).”

His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President of SCTA, in his speech on the occasion, praised the great attention paid by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and HRH Crown Prince to tourism development, as well as the attention of public departments, the private sector, and Saudis citizens across the kingdom.

HRH President of SCTA said: “SCTA, while confirming the great shift of citizens towards domestic tourism, in addition to the large acceptance they have shown to the national tourism project, it has to meet citizen’s tendency with required development in services, facilities, and events.”

HRH added that the development of a huge economic sector, such as the national tourism in the kingdom, requires major investments, in addition to infrastructure services, which could only be carried out by the government. Thereafter, the private sector may follow through establishing developmental projects. This was clear through several successful economic sectors that were adopted by the government and are still enjoying government’s support.

Addressing HRH the Governor of Riyadh Province as a patron of the opening ceremony, HRH President of SCTA said: “Personally and on behalf of employees of SCTA and its board of directors, I am pleased to express my deep gratitude to Your Royal Highness for patronizing this event, which is one of the most important events of national tourism; we hope it will be of great benefit to both our homeland and the citizens, God willing.”

In his speech, the SCTA President highlighted the status of the national tourism achievements of last year, and issuance of a number of resolutions in accordance with government’s policy, which is aimed at developing national tourism into an economic and productive sector with an unlimited source of jobs. He said:

“While SCTA is confirming the great shift toward domestic tourism by citizens, as well as their large acceptance of the project of the national tourism, it also confirms that such acceptance coincides with development in services, facilities, and events in a manner that meets the aspirations of both citizens and the Saudi families.

“The Saudi citizen is an experienced tourist, and an expert in price and service quality. Despite the fact that our country enjoys huge tourism potentials and most effective infrastructure, including [a] large number of archeological and historical landmarks, increased demand on tourism, in addition to geographical and cultural diversity, we cannot get success in attracting Saudi tourists to domestic tourism unless we have set out a comprehensive project adopted by the government to develop tourism services, programs, and facilities similar to services provided in international tourism destinations that are visited by our citizens.

“I would like in this event to emphasize that according to statistics carried out by SCTA in collaboration with relevant authorities, the national tourism is one of the most important economic sectors that creates jobs, where [the] rate of Saudization of jobs in the national tourism is 26 percent out of the total of employees in the tourism sector, reach[ing] 950,000, which is the second highest rate in Saudization throughout national economic sectors. SCTA also stressed economic capability of this promising sector to create new jobs in the national economy during the next period over different educational levels, for different social classes, on different geographical locations (villages and towns), in different investments, where the upgraded strategic plan has estimated tourism jobs by 2015 to reach one million one hundred thousand jobs.

“I would like also to refer to the important prospective role of the national tourism and its integration with cultural and heritage factors for linking citizen to his country (especially among youth), in addition to enhancing citizen’s awareness on homeland’s developmental assets and historic dimensions of our national unity that we all enjoy.”

HRH indicated that, SCTA during the past period has launched a number of initiatives under the initiative of the enhancement of the cultural dimension, which enjoys great support from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and HRH Crown Prince (May Allah protect them).

“We greatly believe in the importance of promoting the role of historical and archeological sites and their rehabilitation and to be opened to public, getting our great history out of books in order to be a reality experienced by youth through encouraging them to visit historical and archeological sites that had witnessed important national events and to visit the locations in which our national unity was shaped. Each citizen has a contribution in the foundation of this great country, it is unreasonable such evidence to be forgotten from our national memory and daily lives; given the increased challenges around us, tremendous development of means of social communication, citizen traveling to neighboring countries and mixing up with other nations. It is of great importance to encourage the citizen and especially the youth to visit these sites and locations that are reflecting the beauty of our country and its great history, in order our youth not only to live in the virtual world of social media.”

“During the next period, and given support of the of King Abdullah and the Council of Ministers, the government will issue a number of important resolutions, which will pave the way for a comprehensive and integrated development in heritage, archeological sites and museum sector as well as developing mechanisms of finance and governmental support to tourism investment, establishing a public body for investment in which the private sector contributes in the development of large tourism destinations.”

“The resolutions are also expected to make radical development in the exhibition and conference industry, which is seen as one of the most important promising economic sectors besides restructuring and developing road stops and the handcrafts sector. Also a number of regulations are expected to be issued by the government for antiquities, urban heritage, and tourism areas.”

HRH said that this forum is to be held after school mid-term holidays and added, “We are pleased with this intensive tourism events and programs during the holiday, which emphasized that our country is enjoying large potentials that will enable us to shift interest of citizen[s] to domestic tourism once the national tourism was made ready as perfect as it should be.

“During the holiday, we have witnessed large number[s] of citizens who took to abroad tourism destinations carrying big amount[s] of money. We have to work hard to attain the people’s trust and convince them to stay in their country. Seasonal immigration will continue to countries that have largely relied in the development of tourism to draw international tourists through providing best services and moderate prices.”

This year, the event includes 13 workshops in which a number of speakers will take part. Analysts and international experts will discuss different tourism types, investment issues, and tourism information, as well as review some of the successful tourism experiences all through the event. Besides the workshops and sessions, this forum will conduct a number of activities to highlight the Saudi tourism’s special concern on the cultural dimension of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the theme “Saudi Arabia… the meeting point of cultures,” within which a number of models of historic and archeological sites will be presented, in addition to several handicraft and folklore performances.

In addition, STTIM includes tourism trips inside Riyadh city, as well as desert safaris and tourism trips to the Al Washam area (Shagrah, Eshaigir, and Al Gasab), besides offering special tourism packages to the visitors of the event.

On the other hand, STTIM’s exhibition this year includes pavilions for over 140 companies engaged in tourism and the travel sector, in addition to pavilions for municipalities, provinces, and chambers of commerce from all over the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The exhibition features heritage events, and handicraft and folklore shows during its session. The events of the exhibition include tourism trips to Riyadh city landmarks, in addition to safaris to the vast desert and a special trip to Al Washim area (Shagrah, Eshaigir, and Al Gasab). For more information about STTIIM, and live streaming, please visit: www.sttim.com.sa or www.scta.gov.sa .