Riyadh, Jun 18: Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said that Saudi Arabia will resume tourist activities at the end of Shawwal (June 21) after a hiatus of more than three months due to lockdown measures imposed following the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.
The minister made the remarks during a television interview after chairing the emergency meeting of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism on Wednesday. He said that the current indications are positive and that the Kingdom is ready to launch the summer program, which will be a boost for domestic tourism.
“It was revealed in a research study carried out by the Tourism Authority that 80 percent of Saudi citizens want to take advantage of domestic tourism. We will launch the domestic tourism program for the public after having made necessary coordination with the Ministry of Health and the concerned higher authorities,” he said.
Several Arab tourism ministers and officials of the relevant organizations attended the meeting, which discussed the challenges that the region’s tourism sector is facing due to the pandemic. Al-Khateeb pointed out that the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism, headed by Saudi Arabia, held the virtual session in exceptional circumstances to discuss ways to get out of this pandemic and revitalize the tourism sector.
“Saudi Arabia has initiated a package of financial stimulus activities with a total value of more than $61 billion to protect jobs and businesses and reduce the economic burden of the crisis. The domestic tourism sector has benefited from it as one of the important economic sectors, as it covered 60 percent of salaries of Saudi employees in the private sector for a period of three months,” he added.