Saudi tourist visas ex­panded un­der agency’s re­view

Arab News - - FRONT PAGE -

A re­view of tourist visa reg­u­la­tions has been com­pleted by the Saudi Com­mis­sion for Tourism and Na­tional Her­itage (SCTH), to­gether with the in­te­rior and for­eign min­istries.

The SCTH said in a state­ment that it re­viewed the reg­u­la­tions with rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions, in­vestors and work­ers in tourism and trans­port, and groups of ser­vice providers through a se­ries of in­ten­sive meet­ings and work­shops.

The new visa reg­u­la­tions had been sub­mit­ted to the rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties for ap­proval, it said.

Visa re­quire­ments had been ar­ranged with gov­ern­ment and pri­vate agen­cies, and an in­te­grated elec­tronic sys­tem de­vel­oped un­der the su­per­vi­sion of a team headed by the Min­istry of Communications and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy.

The SCTH acted on the ba­sis of a na­tional tourism de­vel­op­ment strategy, ap­proved in 2005, to de­velop and ex­pand tourist visas that pre­vi­ously had been granted on a lim­ited scale.

The Na­tional Trans­for­ma­tion Pro­gram 2020 also adopted the tourist visa as one of the “ini­tia­tives of high eco­nomic fea­si­bil­ity.”

Prince Sul­tan bin Sal­man, pres­i­dent and chair­man of the board of the SCTH, told AFP ear­lier this year that the King­dom had af­firmed its com­mit­ment to lo­cal val­ues and cul­ture — the most im­por­tant at­trac­tions as it strives to at­tract tourists.

“The King­dom is the cra­dle of Is­lam and the di­rec­tion to­ward which all Mus­lims face in their prayers, and it has the honor to serve them, lean­ing on a legacy of civ­i­liza­tional, nat­u­ral, cul­tural and tourist wealth and gen­er­ous and wel­com­ing peo­ple,” he said.

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