The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) recently received the Cabinet’s approval for a new tourism regulation, as reported by Arab News.
The regulation aims to streamline facilities and services related to tourism in general and to guide activities besides protecting tourist interests.
The new regulations also enhance SCTA’s role in the tourism sector giving it more authority to conduct its activities. The new system stipulates general tourism locations such as beaches are protected sites owned by the government where the state can make direct investments for tourism development or by leasing to the private sector through auctions.
The SCTA is authorized to make suggestions for development of any government-owned land by the private sector. The rules also authorize the SCTA to lay down criteria to regulate tourism events, and develop, support and promote them for marine, agricultural, health, medical, business or wildlife tourism and others.
The regulations also permit SCTA to encourage the establishment of societies in the field of tourist shelters, trades and other tourism related activities including grading, supervising and conducting inspections besides taking penal measures against violators of the new regulations. Additionally, businessmen dealing in tourism and tour operators will have to register all details about their employees with the SCTA and update the data every three months. It also requires all private education and training institutes that conduct tourism related programs to adhere to the standards laid down by the SCTA.
The SCTA will also have to set up a tourism data center in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and other related departments to compile all information related to the Kingdom’s tourism sector.