Professional bodies to boost tourism

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) is optimistic that the country’s professional tourism bodies would help grow the industry.

Faisal bin Mansur Al-Fadel, the SCTA’s director general for legal affairs, said the private sector would play an important role in ensuring there is proper regulation and development of tourism activities, fair competition and equal opportunities for investors.

The Kingdom recently outlined several measures to boost the country’s tourism sector as part of its overall economic diversification plan. This includes training and employing many young Saudis in the industry.

The General Strategy for National Tourism (GSNT), approved by the Council of Ministers recently, has recommended the establishment of professional tourism associations to support the government’s efforts.

Al-Fadel said the associations would help improve channels of communication between the private and public sectors, assist the SCTA in enforcing regulations, and mediate disputes to prevent matters being taken to court.

The Cabinet recently approved three laws to regulate the activities of the Saudi Society for Tourist Accommodation Facilities, Saudi Society for Tourist Guides and Saudi Society for Travel and Tourism.

The Cabinet decision established three nonprofit professional associations, “enjoying legal and independent financial status, to develop tourist accommodation facilities, promote tour guides and boost travel and tourism.”

The associations are mandated to take care of the interests of their members, provide them with social and cultural services, attract private investments, and hold certified training and education courses.

The three associations would each have a general assembly, a board of directors, and an executive director supervising the executive body in terms of technical, financial and administrative functions.





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