Saudi Competitiveness Forum 2014 
At Saudi Competitiveness Forum 2014
Monday 19 Rabea I, 1435 / 20 January, 2014

Saudi TV Channel 1-  The Cabinet has approved the tourism system to see the address of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman in 2014 competitiveness Forum.​

SCTA President's Speech

"I am pleased to be here standing among you today, and would like to welcome you all, and thank SAGIA for organizing this important occasion. 

“I'd like to begin today by saying that Saudi Arabia fully supports tourism initiative which is based heavily on the State support and care, partnership and integration with all State institutions, the private sector and the community.

HRH announced that the State has taken bold steps to restructure the national economy through a range of measures, including:

Creating the tourist sector to be able to attract citizens to stay in their country.  So we started a few years ago in organized work to stimulate the development of national tourism sector as the Kingdom has absolute and comparative advantages that enhances its competitiveness at the regional and international levels:

Kingdom’s privileged geographical location and its position as cradle of Islam and the heart of the Arab world, important civilizations crisscrossed it through trade routes causing cultural and political events in the Arabian Peninsula through history. The Kingdom's tourism competitiveness in tourism has the following comparative advantages, notably:
  • Its natural heritage.
  • Cultural diversity among the population and acclaimed hospitality.
  • Youth’s willingness to accept challenges to work on new development sectors.
  • State’s investment and efforts in infrastructure development, such as airports, road networks, and roadside breaks, tourist destinations, transport, public services, as additional features to enhance competitiveness of the tourism sector in the Kingdom.
SCTH worked, following its founding, as an entity responsible for tourism development over 14 years ago adopting the principle of partnership and integration with all State institutions involved in tourism development, the private sector and local communities to ensure the building and development of an industry which, complex and interrelated.  All these advantages if given to any other nation it will surely become the world's richest nation economically, socially and culturally.

The tourism project is a comprehensive and complex project that deals with the national heritage sites and the tourism industry as a whole at once.

Our work includes overseeing several sectors that are often heterogeneous.

The Commission is keen to develop tourism infrastructure, such as transport, accommodation, and licenses for facilities, development of tourism destinations, investment and finance companies, specifications, security and social development, in coordination with other sectors in the State related to these nodes, as well as dealing with citizens and investors.

SCTH has launched several important national initiatives through the 'Tourism Development Strategy' in the Kingdom, and all have contributed to reorganize tourism, antiquities, museums and architectural heritage, later on supported by several key decisions of the State included for the development and restructuring of sectors, including:

Organization of tourist accommodation sectors, cultural heritage, exhibitions and conferences, crafts and traditional industries, urban heritage, museums, archaeological excavations, tourist services sectors, licensing services to stimulate growth, documented information and statistics, restructuring the media discourse and partnership building.

Develop relationship with the private sector to stimulate investment and financing, create tourist companies, creating academic and vocational training system, and implementing a national program to prepare people to work in the fields of tourism and national heritage.

The national tourism has become an important route for creating jobs intensively, focusing on citizen’s portability to work in this sector as service providers or investors. 

Tourism is the second economic sector in the Kingdom in terms of percentage of Saudization of jobs, and hoped to become the first sector soon if given appropriate stimulus opportunities.  The number of employees in the tourism sector have reached 751,000 until the end of last year with the proportion of nationals working in the private sector at 27%. These opportunities increased, especially after the issuance of the Cabinet resolutions on the “King Abdullah Project for the cultural heritage Care, and support for SCTH financially and administratively, which reflects State's deep concern towards the development of national tourism.

Tourism has a significant competitive opportunity at the local and national levels, and promised bright future in the Kingdom.  We enjoy high competitiveness, and multiple dimensions over many countries, based on additional features of our country, that we have the largest domestic tourism market.

Therefore, it is important to continue to develop this economic sector to make it more attractive and competitive to the largest local tourism market, that is spilling out, and lure our citizens so that they can enjoy their homeland and its components and nurture a memory for generations about the country, its nature, its citizens, its heritage, culture and history while they strengthen its economy.

Hopefully 2014 will witness important achievements in national tourism.  During the last few years over 27 important resolutions were issued by the State related tourism development and regulation. We expect further decisions, and in particular a decision on the approval of King Abdullah Project for Cultural Heritage, that will support the national cultural heritage and tourism, that assures State’s attention in the development of new tourist sites and increasing job opportunities for citizens, establishment of a Saudi Company for investment and tourism development,  in addition to the establishing tourism development companies across the provinces, besides the program of financing national tourism projects.

Thank you and I wish you all success in your efforts."
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