The Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA) has witnessed an upward trend in domestic tourism.
“One reason for this growth is the SCTA’s support for local tourism by ensuring quality, controlling prices and diversifying tourist destinations,” said Mishari Al-Naim, built heritage head at the SCTA, as quoted in Arab News. He said that festivals are being held in several regions with the advent of Ramadan coinciding with summer.
Al-Naim said that locals will witness a Ramadan festival, whose activities will continue for 34 days from beginning of Ramadan into the following month, with special events highlighting local traditions and customs.
Taif, meanwhile, will hold the ‘Al-Khalidiya entertainment and marketing festival’, which includes a site for families, in addition to areas for recreational and fireworks displays. In Hofuf, the Al-Ahsa tourist family festival will also be held at the King Abdullah Environmental Park for a month.
The Jazan summer festival in the heritage village continues to attract public, while Al-Baha’s summer festival will also be conducted. Al-Naim further noted that there were more than 23.8 million domestic trips made in the Kingdom last year, up from 19 million the previous year.
An SCTA report said that expenditure for domestic tourism last year exceeded SAR28 billion and that number of Saudis working in the tourism sector touched more than 203,200. The figure represents 27.1% of total employees in direct jobs, pointing out that the contribution of domestic tourism to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to SAR75 billion in 2013.