Saudi to create 462,000 tourism jobs
Riyadh, April 2, 2013
Saudi Arabia plans to create more than 462,000 jobs for the nationals in the tourism sector in line with its Saudiization strategy, said a report citing the country's economy and planning minister.
Domestic tourism can provide employment opportunities for citizens in various regions of the country, Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Jasser was quoted as saying in the Arab News.
“In addition, training opportunities will be available for an additional 245,000 jobseekers,” said Al-Jasser at the opening of the sixth 'Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market (STTIM) in Riyadh.
He pointed out that the government will make massive investments to boost the domestic tourism sector and work towards cutting down international tourism expenses.
“Saudi Arabia has natural resources, a variety of heritage sites, multiple facilities and a good infrastructure that can contribute to the tourism sector. This would support our GDP and provide employment opportunities, as well as raise Saudization rates,” said Al-Jasser.
"The development of tourism in the Kingdom would also support two main objectives in the government’s development plan: Economic diversification and a balanced development between regions," he added.
The minister said Saudis had spent a total of SR61 billion ($16.2 billion) on tourism in 2011, of which SR36 billion was on domestic tourism. The total spending had increased from SR28 billion in 2009," he said citing official data.
According to him, these expenses did not include international transportation costs.
Tourism spending, said the minister, takes a significant portion of the family budget of individuals in many countries of the world.
"The amount of money citizens spend on tourism abroad underscores the need to improve local tourist attractions and make use of media to cover available tourist spots in Kingdom," he added.