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KSA Signs Tourism Deal in Eastern & Western Regions

As part of its ongoing efforts to support and advance its tourism sector, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has just signed a key agreement that will take effect in both the eastern and western regions. Following this landmark deal, the Kingdom will benefit from ongoing cooperation in tourism and transportation services, including the Saudi Railways Company (SAR), and Cruise Saudi.

“Signing this memorandum with Saudi Cruise comes as part of SAR’s efforts to support marine tourism in the Kingdom, and provide distinguished transportation services that contribute to attracting more international tourists to enjoy the Kingdom’s touristic advantages, advance this vital and important sector, and to enhance its role as an important tributary of the national economy,” Bashar Al-Malik, the CEO of SAR, told Arab News.

In fact, the agreement will benefit locals and tourists looking to reach tourist destinations outside the main cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, and others, especially sea cruises. Furthermore, it will also be aimed at reducing fuel consumption by 17 percent by 2030. In March, the Kingdom launched the Railway Industrial Opportunities Forum with an expected SAR1 billion ($266 million) worth in economic opportunity.

In recent years, the Kingdom has also been investing on sea cruises such as in the Red Sea, with the Viking Star becoming the fifth ship to set sail in line with the Cruise Saudi mandate. Lars Clasen, the CEO of Cruise Saudi, stated that the new agreement will benefit the cruise industry while aiding in its development.

As part of its Vision 2030 program, Saudi Arabia is eager to increase its non-oil GDP while, simultaneously, positioning itself as a preferred tourist destination in the Gulf region. Hence, the tourism sector is aiming to increase its current rate from 3 percent to 10 percent, with 100 million expected local and international visitations, by 2030. Simultaneously, the Kingdom will be creating up to 1.6 million additional jobs in the tourism sector. 

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