A Look into KSA’s Tourism Guidance Scene

A tour guide is considered an ambassador inside his country, and plays a distinctive role in giving tourists a general impression about the country he or she is visiting in addition to activating and contributing to the growth of tourism in Saudi Arabia. The profession of paid tour guides is a service to tourists who have different languages, habits and traditions and it is an attractive idea that has special flavor.

Tour guides have a responsibility in making a success out of the journey, and providing a positive idea about their country to tourists, because they are the main source of information given to tourists, for they provide them with information regarding cultural heritage, history, habits, customs and social life that are experienced by citizens who inhabit tourist areas.

Below are some laws about the profession of tour guides in Saudi Arabia, and a list of the names of approved and licensed tour guides.

Guide to the laws and procedures:

  • Tour guides can only practice the profession after they meet the qualification requirements and obtain a license.
  • Tour guides should fill an application to join the profession and obtain a license to practice it through the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage (SCTH) electronic website.
  • The applicant pledges to abide by the rules and regulations of the law, which have been reviewed.

For more information please visit the following link;
https://scth.gov.sa/TourismInvestment/TourismLicensing/Documents/2016/ManualsProcedures-TourGuid.pdf

Tour Guide Violations
The SCTCH has passed a set of laws and regulations related to practicing the profession of tour guide, and those who violate these regulations will be punished.
These violations include:

  • Practicing the profession before obtaining the license
  • Failure to renew membership with the Saudi Association for Tour Guides
  • Giving up the license or allowing others to use it

Failure to abide by the price list of the SCTH
For more information please visit the following link;
https://scth.gov.sa/TourismInvestment/Documents/violationsList-TouristGuides.pdf

Tour Guide Licenses  
The STCH provides a comprehensive guide for all qualified and licensed tour guides on its electronic website. The list has around 245 names in various parts of Saudi Arabia and can be reviewed on the following link:
https://scth.gov.sa/TourismInvestment/TourismLicensing/Pages/Tour_Guid_list.aspx

Prominent Tour Guides in KSA
Ayesha Khaja

Ayesha Khaja is the first tour guide specializing in Islamic heritage in Madina. Her love for tourism led her to religious and historical tourism, and she used to accompany small groups to visit these places. She holds a BA in English Literature and an official tour guide certificate who specializes in Islamic heritage in Madina.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lDRRFywTXs

Waleed Khaled Al-Lamailem

Waleed Khaled Al-Lamailem is the youngest Saudi tour guide at the age of 10. He obtained the first junior tour guide certificate in Saudi Arabia, after publishing a video giving information about the heritage town in Oyoun Al-Jawa in English. President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) Prince Sultan bin Salman has asked that Al-Lamailem be granted a tour guide license, unprecedented for a child his age.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYkVuzzrBk4

Because of the importance of the work of tour guides, those who participate in this profession require specific skills and qualifications. A successful tour guide plays a major role in promoting the historical and cultural heritage of his country by providing correct and accurate information to tourists. He should be able to polarize the beauty and diversity of his country’s tourism products by winning the trust of the tourists and dealing with them in a satisfactory manner. Tour guides are the source of information during tours whether they are cultural or otherwise.

Share Article

Write a comment