Saudi Tourism Overhaul Underway A New Law Enacted To Develop Global Competitiveness

Tourism as a business in Saudi Arabia will undergo a significant change with the New Tourism Law approved this week by Council of Ministers.

Riyadh: Tourism as a business in Saudi Arabia will undergo a significant change with the New Tourism Law approved this week. A Council of Ministers resolution passed the law.

The law helps speed up the development of an internationally competitive tourism sector in the Kingdom. It will drive business innovation and investment.

The New Tourism Law will establish regulatory environments in the Kingdom to attract tourism innovators and improve the ease of doing business.

This law allows new or experimental tourism businesses to receive special licenses and support from the Ministry, allowing them to flourish.

It will streamline licensing processes and procedures by creating a one-stop-shop platform for all tourism stakeholders. The Ministry announced in February 2022 as part of its Digital Tourism Strategy.

The new legal order allows the Ministry of Tourism greater control over tourism quality and services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This oversight will ensure the highest possible standards for tourists and businesses. It will also strengthen the development of destinations.

The law extends the Ministry’s remit for fast turnaround with government entities to mitigate and manage any crises and risks.

The resolution empowers the Ministry of Tourism to enable sector growth. The resolution permits the Ministry to facilitate tax and custom reductions and exceptions with government entities.

This permission incentivizes businesses to invest in the Kingdom’s growing tourism sector.

It also enables the Ministry to work collaboratively with other private sector entities to establish work plans. Training programs, promoting job creation and training for Saudis and boosting human capital development.

This new collaboration framework for the private sector and government entities will help improve service quality and promote Saudi Arabia as a top tourism destination globally. 

The Saudi National Tourism Strategy and Vision 2030 include 100 million new visits. It also includes tourism’s 10 percent GDP contribution and 1 million new tourism jobs.

Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, said:

“In our continued work to develop, promote and enable an internationally competitive tourism sector as a critical pillar of Vision 2030.

We are delighted to announce the approval of the new tourism law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The law will drive business and investment. It will support innovation and attract tourists, following the international best practices.”

“This law follows the Regional Tourism Development Councils Regulation. It is a significant milestone in advancing Saudi Arabia’s National Tourism Strategy.

The regulation will accelerate the development of tourist destinations in various regions, including NEOM, Al-Soudah, the Red Sea, and Diriyah Gate.”

“With a future-focused vision, we are working diligently to upgrade hospitality standards and provide unprecedented and enriching visitor experiences.”

The New Tourism Law references the best international practices practiced by the top 20 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.

The tourism sector’s rapid development and integration with modern technologies include providing a new tool to administer permits for experimental tourism activities. Tourism is among the Kingdom’s first sectors to use this regulatory tool.

The law requires the tourism establishment to form an information database on all aspects of Saudi tourism.

This practice will follow the international best practices for investors, service providers, tourists, and others. The updated data will be published on the Ministry’s website regularly.

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