Saudi Plans Madinah Tourism Boost

MADINAH – Saudi transformation and tourism boards announced plans to develop the facilities and services of the tourist accommodation sector in Madinah.

“Madinah is considered one of the pillars of National Transformation Program (NTP). Thus, we seek to revitalize tourism in it through many steps,” Khalid bin Hussein Al-Shahrani, the director general of the Madinah branch of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), told Arab News on Tuesday.

“So far, the tourist facilities in Madinah region reached 565. We’ll also create packages of activities and entertainment programs for guests.”

The sites proposed for renovation include historical mosques and the locations of Ghazawat, or prophetic battle sites.

This newest endeavor comes after previous successes when Madinah won the prizes of the Capital of Islamic Culture in 2013 and the Capital of Islamic Tourism in 2017.

“The region will implement a number of investment projects that will contribute to the revitalization of tourism, providing revenue and more job opportunities in this vital sector,” explained Al-Shahrani.

Madinah includes 173 licensed travel and tourism agencies, and the SCTH plans to license 55 tour operators and eight offices for booking tourist accommodation. There are currently 63 accredited tourist guides in the SCTH in Madinah.

The official also noted that Madinah already runs tourist buses, which cover historical heritage sites in the region.