Higher Tourism Authority yesterday named 77 members to its several
subcommittees, which will advise the authority on setting out a
national tourism plan that will become the basis of the government’s
The HTA was
formed last year as part of a series of economic reforms aimed at
diversifying revenue sources, creating jobs for citizens and
attracting foreign capital as well as encouraging Saudis to repatriate
their investments from abroad.
Members of the
10 subcommittees have been selected after a thorough investigation
that lasted several months. The members are drawn from experts in
various sectors and with different geographical backgrounds, said HTA
Secretary-General Prince Sultan ibn Salman.
of the 10 groups are women. They will sit on committees dealing with
cultural, heritage, tourism and social affairs. Some of them are
university teachers while others represent the private sector and
subcommittees will cover environmental and urban development, culture
and heritage, tourism and social projects, economic programs, human
resources, systems and regulations and tourist information and
development. The members will serve for one lunar year and will meet
once every two months.
advisory board of the HTA will hold its constituent meeting in Jeddah
tomorrow in cooperation with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and
board headed by Prince Sultan ibn Salman is drawn up from members of
the Supreme Economic Council, the General Investment Authority and the
which will be accompanied by workshops joined by various advisory
groups, will be held under the support and encouragement of Prince
Sultan, the second deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation
and chairman of HTA board.
has already called for the removal of all obstacles that stood in the
way of the tourism industry in the Kingdom. “This reflects Prince
Sultan’s keen interest in ensuring the implementation of the
National Tourism Plan and his desire to see a wide-ranging and
effective partnership in this regard involving all relevant bodies
concerned,” the HTA secretary-general said.
The HTA board
includes the ministers of interior, foreign affairs, finance and
national economy, planning, commerce, agriculture and water,
education, municipal and rural affairs, and pilgrimage as well as the
head of the Presidency of Youth Welfare besides other prominent
estimate that domestic tourism could generate up to SR12 billion in
business annually. They also say that if the sector gains momentum it
could result in holding back 50 percent of the estimated SR25 billion
spent by some three million Saudis who travel abroad each year.
Arabia has taken a number of steps to attract foreign tourists and
encourage Saudis to spend their holidays within the Kingdom. The new
Umrah system that allows visitors to the holy cities of Makkah and
Madinah longer periods of stay and greater freedom of movement in the
Kingdom is expected to prop up the tourism industry in different parts
of the country.
More than SR15
billion have been spent on developing the tourist infrastructure in
Makkah, Dammam, Riyadh and Abha in order to promote domestic tourism.