The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) introduced a new campaign-Saudi Summer, encouraging residents to explore the kingdom. The decision was made as the country bans international visitors from making the Islamic pilgrimage (Hajj) this year to control the spread of coronavirus.
A limited number of people currently living in the kingdom may take part
An estimated two million people would otherwise have visited Mecca and Medina this summer for the annual gathering. Instead, authorities hope Saudis will travel domestically this year for a holiday.
STA research revealed that 57% of Saudi residents are concerned about traveling by plane. 85% are planning to take a break of around ten days this year. 78% expressed interest in exploring their country.
Ahmed Al Khateeb, minister of tourism for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said, “Saudi Summer comes as a wonderful opportunity to discover multiple tourist destinations in Saudi Arabia, alongside its historical, natural and cultural treasures. The campaign also contributes to enhancing efforts by the ministry of tourism to revive the tourism sector, which was most affected by the repercussions of the Covid-19 crisis.”
Travelers are encouraged to visit multiple destinations
The Saudi Summer campaign will run till the end of summer and is promoting ten locations across the nation – Jeddah and KAEC; Abha; Tabuk; Khobar, Dammam, and Ahsa; Al Baha; Al Taif; Yanbu and Umluj and Riyadh. Travelers can take advantage of the different packages and activities available, from sea trips and diving to museum visits and hiking.
“The tourism sector resumes its activities with a renewed spirit and great hopes for moving forward at an accelerated pace, to achieve our aspirations in harmony with Saudi Vision 2030, which seeks to pursue economic diversification, attract investments, increase revenues and create job opportunities for citizens,” added H Al-Khateeb.