Forum to discuss aspirations of young Saudis towards national tourism


JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), will open a special youth forum on Tuesday to discuss the vision and aspirations of young Saudi men and women toward national tourism.

“A number of issues related to domestic tourism will be discussed during the forum,” said SCTA in a statement, adding that 126 young men and 53 young women as well as senior SCTA officials and executives would take part in the deliberations.

SCTA has formed a number of consultative youth groups, comprising seven to 10 members in each group, in different regions on Prince Sultan’s directives in order to involve young Saudi men and women while preparing tourism programs.

Prince Sultan has emphasized the need to involve youths in the decision-making process before carrying tourism projects that target them. The members of the consultative groups are selected from universities and institutes and they include young men and women already working in the sector.

“The SCTA will seek the opinion of youth on various tourism projects and plans it wants to carry out in different parts of the country,” the statement said. The commission also seeks their proposals to market tourism programs including trips to historical sites.

“These consultative groups will contribute to developing and designing curricula for tourism training programs and setting out criteria for employing Saudis in the industry. They will also give their ideas toward promoting a culture of tourism in Saudi society,” the SCTA statement said.

During their regional-level meetings, the youth groups had advised the commission to open pages on Facebook and Twitter on tourist programs for youths in different regions. They have also called for developing tourism festivals in various parts of the country including a variety of attractive programs.

In a recent statement, Prince Sultan expressed his delight over the growing awareness of Saudis on the importance of promoting domestic tourism. “The Saudi citizen today is ready, welcoming, and in fact, pushing for tourism. For this, the national heritage needs to be comprehensively developed in the wake of the increasing popularity of domestic tourism,” he told the annual meeting of SCTA.

He emphasized the measures taken by the commission to promote tourism. “The SCTA has made all required regulations ready to tackle different issues and difficulties that face tourism, antiquities and urban heritage development in addition to its readiness, successes and capabilities for running and developing new sectors that have been lately attached to its responsibility,” he said.