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Saudi Arabia unveils new regulations to bolster tourism

The multi-pronged regulations aim to improve the quality of services, protect tourists as well as create job opportunities.

Saudi Arabia unveils new regulations to bolster tourism
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Saudi Arabia has announced ten regulations to develop its tourism sector, in line with its commitment to building a competitive travel industry. The multi-pronged regulations aim to improve the quality of services, protect tourists, and create job opportunities. Overall, these regulations will leverage an attractive tourism environment for investment.

The laws cover the full spectrum of tourism – from hospitality facilities, travel and tourism services, tourism hospitality facilities management, tourism consultancies, private tourist hospitality facilities, experimental activities, an inspection of tourism activities, as well as monitoring of tourism law violators.

The regulations encompass new activities in the tourism market and provisions for organizing control and inspection to guarantee service quality.

In a statement, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, the minister of tourism, said that the new regulations mark the completion of the ministry’s ambition to achieve its goals for the development of national tourism. “These regulations would allow the ministry to strengthen cooperation with the private sector, and to offer job opportunities for the national competencies in the tourism sector,” Al-Khateeb said.

The new regulations have also considered the sectors’ needs and were drafted after reviewing the opinions and observations of various stakeholders, the statement said.

The regulations, issued based on the tourism law, were prepared in accordance with international best practices that were selected based on the index of the top ten countries in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

With the installation of new regulations, the ministry has provided tourism agencies and operators with 90 days to adjust the conditions offered to tourists. All agencies and operators in the tourism sector must take stock of the contents of the new regulations when undertaking activities to preserve the rights of tourists, and the quality of the services offered, and avoid being subjected to legal penalties and fines, the ministry said.

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