The Future of Tourism Arrived 7 Years Early in Saudi Arabia

PIF

Saudi Arabia reached its target of 100 million tourists (domestic + international) in 2023. 150 million visitors is the new target by 2030.

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The Public Investment Fund (PIF) Private Sector Forum is an event that connects the PIF, its portfolio companies, and the Saudi Arabian private sector. The forum aims to accelerate economic growth by connecting key local private sector players, government leaders, the PIF, and its portfolio companies.

The Forum that took place on February 6 and 7 was an opportunity to hear from thought leaders across key government entities, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and its portfolio companies. They discussed the importance of the private sector for Saudi Arabia’s development, the success stories of collaboration between the private sector and PIF, and opportunities for the private sector in emerging sectors and the kingdom’s Giga projects.

HE Yasir Bin Othman Al-Rumayyan, Governor of the Public Investment Fund

PIF seeks to support private sector investment opportunities and create partnerships to contribute to the Kingdom’s economic development. The Fund has developed important strategic partnerships with the private sector through major projects, infrastructure projects, and others, to enhance important sectors such as housing, hospitality, tourism, and entertainment.

Ahmed Al Khateeb - image courtesy of linkedin

HE Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Saudi Arabia Minister of Tourism

Tourism is seven years ahead of the original growth plan.

Saudi Arabia’s outspoken Tourism Minister HE Ahmed Al-Khateeb made a stunning announcement during the PIF Private Sector Forum.

He said that Saudi Arabia reached its target of 100 million tourists (domestic + international) in 2023, 7years ahead of the original plan!

He added: “Thanks to the outstanding leadership and great collaboration among all the relevant entities, in line with #Vision2030, last year the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia exceeded the big milestone.

“We are on track to make Saudi Arabia rank among one of the world’s top 10 international tourist destinations. I believe this country has the potential and will reach the top 5 globally.”

Al-Khateeb emphasized that the significant growth witnessed by the Saudi Tourism Authority is a direct result of the Saudi leadership’s commitment to organizing and supporting the tourism sector in general and the authority in particular.

This support, he said, has enabled the authority to play a crucial role in promoting Saudi Arabia as a top tourist destination on both regional and international levels.
He stressed that the leadership’s support has also helped attract visitors worldwide, develop tourism products, empower the private tourism sector, and participate in the most important local and international tourism forums and events, adding that this alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is a significant milestone for the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia.

HE Gloria Guevara

HE Gloria Guevara, special advisor to the minister, posted to her social media saying: “What extraordinary progress in such a short time!

“Congratulations to KSA’s leadership, HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for his vision and support to the sector, and HE Ahmed Al-Khateeb for the execution of the entire ecosystem.

“I am proud to be part of this impressive milestone during the nation’s unprecedented transformation and looking forward to the celebration on the 3rd of March.”

The Saudi Tourism Dream Team

Guevara went on to say: “The Sky is the Limit.”

The new target of 150 million tourists by 2030 was announced.

“While we still have a lot of work to do, having a dream team under HE’s leadership together with the HH Princess Haifa, all the tourism leaders and the whole Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, Fahd Hamidaddin, and Saudi Tourism Authority, Qusai Al-Fakhri, and the Tourism Development Fund, Mohammed Asiri, and the Saudi Red Sea Authority, the Giga projects and everyone involved in the execution, the sky is the limit.”

Priorities for the Public Investment Fund (PIF)

Growing the private sector is one of the highest priorities for PIF considering its crucial role in the development and growth of the Saudi economy. PIF, as a key economic vehicle and an enabler for realizing the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, is committed to facilitating the private sector’s growth.

Saudi Arabia believes the private sector programs are empowering the private sector to achieve the nation’s ambition.

The PIF programs are designed to facilitate the growth of the private sector.

MUSAHAMA Program

PIF launched the MUSAHAMA Program to enhance the Local Content contribution of PIF with a Local Content target of 60% by 2025. In addition, PIF has launched the Supplier Development Program to develop suppliers’ capabilities and capacities by implementing measures across demand, supply, matchmaking, and enabling pillars.

To achieve its Local Content target of 60% by 2025, the Fund has developed the Local Content Growth Program with a vision to leverage its spending to catalyze the development of at-scale, competitive, and innovative industries in KSA.

PIF is committed to integrating Local Content considerations throughout the investment lifecycle and procurement spending across the Portfolio.

Integration of Local Content starts at the design stage where emphasis is placed on utilizing locally available products and services by incorporating locally rooted, innovative design choices into design selection and optimizing designs to leverage locally available producers.

In addition, PIF invests in developing local industries that act as catalysts to the Kingdom’s transformation and value chains’ expansion, which increases Local Content on an economic level.

Within its procurement process, Local Content mechanisms are deployed across the portfolio to empower national products and services such as the National Preference, Mandatory List, and incorporation of Local Content in commercial evaluations. MUSAHAMA program also aims to drive pride and innovation in local materials and designs by fostering an innovative ecosystem.

MUSAHAMA program enables the private sector growth by elevating its competitive position, facilitating its capacity expansion, and fostering innovation across the ecosystem.

PIF maintains a leading and impactful investment strategy in line with Vision 2030 to drive Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation through active long-term investments and high standards of governance and transparency.

Panel Discussions

The Forum was an opportunity to hear from thought leaders as they discussed the importance of the private sector for Saudi Arabia’s development, the success stories of collaboration between the Private Sector and PIF, and opportunities for the Private Sector in emerging sectors and Giga projects.

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ARTICLE:

  • “While we still have a lot of work to do, having a dream team under HE's leadership together with the HH Princess Haifa, all the tourism leaders and the whole Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, Fahd Hamidaddin, and Saudi Tourism Authority, Qusai Al-Fakhri, and the Tourism Development Fund, Mohammed Asiri, and the Saudi Red Sea Authority, the Giga projects and everyone involved in the execution, the sky is the limit.
  • He stressed that the leadership’s support has also helped attract visitors worldwide, develop tourism products, empower the private tourism sector, and participate in the most important local and international tourism forums and events, adding that this alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is a significant milestone for the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia.
  • Al-Khateeb emphasized that the significant growth witnessed by the Saudi Tourism Authority is a direct result of the Saudi leadership’s commitment to organizing and supporting the tourism sector in general and the authority in particular.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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