Most Saudis overwhelmed by dazzling summer domestic tourism experience

November 15, 2020

By Abdulkareem Altheyabi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Around 74 percent of Saudis who had vacationed in various tourist destinations across the Kingdom during the “Saudi Summer” season are satisfied with their picnicking, while 81 percent are dazzled by the hospitality and rousing reception they received, according to a report of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), seen by Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

Around 77 percent of Saudi tourists considered the domestic tourism campaigns as a source of inspiration for the tourism promotion, while 73 percent were attracted by the diversity of the places they visited. Another 58 percent indicated that they intend to continue their exploration of the Kingdom’s tourist treasures during the approaching winter season.

The STA survey comes at a time when Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb announced the launch of the “Saudi Winter” season following the resounding success of the “Saudi Summer” season.

The survey revealed the enthralling experience of enjoying domestic tourism by the majority of Saudis due to the coronavirus imposed travel restrictions. These incredible experiences have prompted many of them to spend their winter holidays within the Kingdom if attractive tourism packages and experiments are presented to them.

Regarding major obstacles facing domestic tourism in the Kingdom, it was found in the survey that 43 percent are of the view that there are not many holiday activities in Saudi Arabia while 42 percent opined that the infrastructure is not fully ready for use and 22 percent disclosed that the prices are very expensive, in place of what they got from facilities and services.

Regarding the most important factors that attracted them to set out for a domestic trip in the Kingdom, 81 percent saw it as an opportunity to discover diverse regions and peoples, while 77 percent found that Saudi Arabia is a great destination for family holiday makers whereas another 73 percent expressed their sense of pride in traveling within the country, and 58 percent preferred vast treasures of culture and heritage in many regions of the Kingdom as their most attracting factor.

The “Saudi Summer” season titled “Tanaffus” or “Breathing” that ran through June 25-Sept. 30 had emerged as a real breathing experience and boost for the tourism industry and was a wonderful opportunity to discover multiple tourist destinations in the Kingdom, alongside its historical, natural and cultural treasures.

The season had contributed to enhancing efforts by the Ministry of Tourism to revive the tourism sector, which was most affected by the repercussions of the coronavirus crisis, through promoting 10 most favorite tourist destinations across the Kingdom.

During the season, the ministry and STA arranged an entertainment fiesta for the citizens and expatriates to enjoy the Kingdom’s amazing natural wonders, richness of cultural landmarks and historic and heritage sites across the Kingdom. The Summer Season was instrumental in enhancing awareness among the public about the huge potential of domestic tourism.

The ministry and STA have plans to organize similar programs to further boost domestic tourism during the Saudi Winter season, scheduled to be held from mid-November till April 30, 2021. A wide variety of programs will be held in destinations that include Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah, Riyadh, Taif, Al-Khobar, Al-Ahsa, Dammam, Abha, Jazan, Al-Baha Al-Ula, Al-Diriyah, Hail, Tabuk and Umluj.

There will be a focus on winter activities such as land trips, semi-bonfires, barbecues, camping, visiting archeological and historical sites and beaches. There will be launching of a number of entertainment programs and events, including folklore arts, festivals of cuisine, clothing and handicrafts.

November 15, 2020
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