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Saudi Arabia focuses on pilgrims to expand their Tourist Market
The bold plan is aimed less at positioning the kingdom on the international
tourism map than drawing on the country's existing 6 million pilgrimage visitors to extend their stays in the kingdom and to encourage more Saudis to vacation at home rather than abroad.

Promotion is focusing on highlighting vacations in Saudi Arabia to Muslim visitors once they have completed their pilgrimages.

As a result, pilgrimage service providers are to be licensed as into tour operators later this year.

Since mass market tourism is not the aim, SCT governor Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz believes that achieving an annual 5% growth in tourism is achievable since domestic tourism alone is sufficient to fuel the development.

The challenge lies in developing human resources as well as infrastructure.

Conservative local communities will also need help in developing a welcoming attitude to visitors and changing outside perceptions of the kingdom as a destination that lacks appeal.

Focus on the pilgrim market

However, the bold plan is aimed less at positioning the kingdom on the international tourism map than drawing on the country's existing 6 million pilgrimage visitors to extend their stays in the kingdom and to encourage more Saudis to vacation at home rather than abroad.

Promotion is focusing on highlighting vacations in Saudi Arabia to Muslim visitors once they have completed their pilgrimages.

As a result, pilgrimage service providers are to be licensed as into tour operators later this year.

Since mass market tourism is not the aim, SCT governor Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz believes that achieving an annual 5% growth in tourism is achievable since domestic tourism alone is sufficient to fuel the development.

The challenge lies in developing human resources as well as infrastructure.

Conservative local communities will also need help in developing a welcoming attitude to visitors and changing outside perceptions of the kingdom as a destination that lacks appeal.