Saudi Arabia to Refurbish Its Heritage Sites. Saudi Arabia, has recorded a significant increase in the contribution of national tourism to GDP. As the tourism will increase it is expected to improve the infrastructure and maintenance of heritage sites.
Kingdom’s religious tourism sector, currently valued at over $5 billion, is gearing up to welcome 30 million Hajj and Umrah visitors to the Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah annually by 2025. Saudi Arabia to Refurbish Its Heritage Sites. National, Arab, Islamic and ancient cultural sites are being restored with the endeavour to more than double the number of Saudi heritage sites registered with UNESCO by 2030.
98 initiatives are being carried out currently including rehabilitating and operating 15 handicraft centres, 18 urban heritage sites, 80 archaeological sites and establishing 18 regional museums. Right from development of Fursan Islands and Al Raas Al Abyad shore to the urgent rescue of heritage buildings in Al-Ahsa Oasis to the rehabilitation study of the historic city center in Eshigra, the entire Kingdom is dotted with tourism development projects.
Meanwhile, an Islamic museum, equipped with the latest methods in collection, preservation, presentation and documentation is also being built.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Saudi Arabia’s travel and tourism sector is expected to contribute more than $81 billion to the country’s GDP by 2026. According to a Euro monitor International Tourism Forecast report, Saudi Arabia’s domestic tourism segment is expected to grow by 40% by 2020.
It reflects the state’s belief in the importance of tourism and national heritage (as one of the essential elements of the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030) in supporting the national economy, creating job opportunities, diversifying income sources, and building a strong national economy for the current and future generations.
Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has established several programs and centers for the overall development of the tourism portfolio. Chief among them are the National Urban Heritage Centre, National Handicraft Program (Bari), Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB), and Historical Mosques Caring Program. Saudi Arabia has a lot to offer beyond the two holy cities those will also be resorted and maintained.