Efforts to enhance tourism ties between Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka have been actively pursued, with Saudi Arabian Ambassador Khalid Hamoud Al Qahtani taking special measures.
Special representatives recently visited Saudi Arabia, and the number of tourists travelling from Saudi Arabia to Sri Lanka is on the rise.
Ambassador Al Qahtani’s recent discussion with Tourism Minister Harin Fernando centred on developing tourism between the two countries, M.H. Shehuddeen Madani, Director, Al Hikma Welfare Association said.
He added that this signifies the importance of strengthening ties and fostering friendship between the two nations through tourism development.
Meanwhile Madani said Saudi Arabia has been selected to lead the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Council for the second time, with its tenure set for 2024, as confirmed by the United Nations.
The announcement was made during the 120th Executive Committee Meeting of the World Tourism Organization, which took place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on October 20. Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Ahmad bin Aqeel Al-Khatib expressed gratitude for this recognition, citing the successful fulfillment of their responsibilities during their 2023 leadership.
This decision signifies the international recognition of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the tourism sector and its efforts in partnership, development, and collaboration. The nation’s support extends beyond domestic tourism, encompassing global initiatives for sustainable development, including the establishment of the World Tourism Centre.
Saudi Arabia continues to collaborate with other member countries of the organization to craft a strategy with clear objectives for a prosperous future in global tourism.
This commitment aligns with the principles of sustainable tourism, as outlined in the Green Proposal released by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud in October 2021.
Saudi Arabia’s dedication to advancing global tourism is further underscored by its selection to host the 26th session of the World Tourism Organization in 2025, marking the first time such an event will be held in the Middle East.
These achievements contribute to Saudi Arabia’s broader efforts to bolster the tourism industry, both domestically and globally, as the nation prepares to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh, solidifying its position as a premier global tourism destination.
Tourism stands as one of Saudi Arabia’s fastest-growing sectors and a vital component of its Vision 2030 programme. The nation’s significance in the Muslim world, as the home to Mecca and Medina, ensures a steady stream of visitors who come to fulfil their religious obligations, with Saudi Arabia providing the necessary facilities for Umrah and Hajj pilgrims.
Beyond spiritual tourism, Saudi Arabia has launched numerous projects, such as Neom (The Line) Muqaab Al Ulad Project and Green Saudi Arabia, alongside significant infrastructure improvements aimed at attracting foreign tourists.
The introduction of various visa types since 2019 has led to a notable increase in the number of visitors to the country.
The tourism sector plays a pivotal role in realizing Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030, a comprehensive plan to transform Saudi Arabia into a self-sufficient and prosperous nation. As part of this initiative, Saudi Arabia aspires to welcome 100 million tourists by the year 2030.