From The Report: Saudi Arabia 2016
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With the holy cities of Makkah and Medina attracting millions of pilgrims every year, the bulk of Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry remains concentrated in these two areas. The seasonal nature of many pilgrim visits has historically presented a challenge to the country’s tourism authorities, and as a result various plans and initiatives have been designed in recent years to drive tourism activities across the Kingdom more broadly, by enhancing existing facilities and developing resort-style tourist centres as well as promoting awareness of the options available for domestic tourists. Under Vision 2030 there are plans to develop the sector as a major contributor the economy, with reforms to visa issuance and development of historic heritage sites integral to boosting the numbers.

This chapter contains interviews with Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman and President, Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage; and Abdullah Al Dawood, CEO, Al Tayyar Travel Group.