Saudi’s Ambitious Plan to Promote the Tourism Sector
As per a recent agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Development Fund and local banks, up to $42.66 billion of tourism projects will be funded in Saudi Arabia. The agreement focuses on establishing financing programs with a value of up to SR160 billion to help and expand the tourism sector and aims to enable the programs agreed with the two banks. The agreement was signed between the Tourism Development Fund, Riyadh Bank, and Banque Saudi Fransi.
This agreement covers the ways of cooperation between the fund and the participating banks through the establishment of mechanisms to support the financing of tourism projects in different regions of Saudi Arabia.
The agreement was one of the fund’s efforts to promote and stimulate investment in the tourism sector and to support the private sector through the provision of a range of financial products, including those that support the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
This agreement marks a major step towards the support and growth of tourism projects in the Kingdom. With an initial investment of $4 billion, the fund was created in June. It forms a part of the scheme to diversify the economy in the current scenario of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices. The role and dedication of the fund to help and grow the tourism sector continued to stimulate investment and to create a strong relationship with banks and financial institutions, thereby creating distinct opportunities for investment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh Bank’s CEO said that the bank was proud to establish this partnership with the fund, which would enhance the role of banks, in supporting the private sector (including small and medium-sized enterprises) and enabling tourism projects in the Kingdom to grow. He also added that tourism is one of the most important segments supporting the economy and that the bank looked forward to actively investing in the fund supporting quality projects that will have an impact on the Kingdom’s ability to find promising investment opportunities.
The agreement reflects the crucial role that banks play in achieving the goals of the tourism sector – one of the most important sectors for investment – and would mark the beginning of an important relationship with the fund to help build investment opportunities for the Kingdom.
It was also noted that these agreements have played an important role in creating groundbreaking tourism projects and destinations which, in turn, have contributed to the achievement of the National Tourism Strategy’s objectives.
The strategy has the objective to increase the contribution of the tourism sector to the gross domestic product of the Kingdom from 3% to 10%, attract 100 million local and foreign tourists by 2030, and generate a million new jobs.
Banks are the lifelines of a nation’s economy. And the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has immense potential to develop its tourism industry. The Tourism Development Fund has the sole objective of developing the tourism industry. Therefore, it is strongly believed that the agreement will go a long way in promoting the sector and boost the economy significantly.