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Insider Info: Saudi Tour Guides Reveal Their Experiences With Tourists

Within the first 10 days of Saudi Arabia opening its doors to tourism, it was reported that they had already issued around 24,000 visas. Alongside that boom, comes the increase of demand for local tour guides. Because who better to show you around than one of Saudi’s very own?

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Recently, a Tourism Exhibition happened in Jeddah were various travel agencies exhibited their work and networked with other individuals from the industry. The most interesting part about that exhibition is the stories shared from the local guides, that were both funny and insightful.

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Many individuals talked about a lot of things, primarily the importance of portraying the Saudi Arabian hospitality as soon as international guests arrive.

Heba Fageeh, who works at a local agency, attested to that, stating what she does at her work, “Our agency holds a welcoming ceremony, where we offer Saudi coffee and dessert, or give presents if it is an individual.”

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“It’s a job of a lover,” says Abdulaziz Bakhsh, who is the chairman of the board of the Association of Tour Guides Union. In a conversation with Arab News, he said that the team he works with are “local ambassadors of their countries.”

Coming from a 13-year stint as a tour guide, Bakhsh knows what he’s talking about. “If you love a city very deeply,” he continues, “You will try to show others the details you are fondly in love with and tell them the stories that lie behind them.”

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That is quite inspiring, as we can imagine walking through the magical Al Ula with a local telling us all the stories that hide behind heritage doors and are infused in the cobbled streets. And trust us, you always need a tour guide, because you might get lost if you’re new to the country.

Eylaf Baqais, another tourism professional, who was at the conference told a funny story about one of the clients, “We once dealt with a tourist who kept on getting himself lost despite marking him with a vibrant colored scarf, that even his wife decided to move on with the planned schedule without him.”

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