Speech of HRH Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz

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					Speech of HRH Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz

President of Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities

               In the Opening Ceremony

                          Of

  Saudi Travel & Tourism Investment Market (STTIM)

           April 12 to 16, 2009, Riyadh, KSA
"His Highness Prince Sattam Bin Abdul Aziz Acting Amir of Riyadh,

"The honorable present, ladies and gentlemen;



Greetings,

It is a great pleasure for me, on behalf the employees of the Saudi Commission for Tourism
and Antiquities to extend sincere thanks and appreciations to His Highness Prince Salman
Bin Abdul Aziz Amir of Riyadh for patronizing this forum. Also I would like to extend my
sincere thanks to His Royal Highness Prince Sattam Bin Abdul Aziz Acting Amir of Riyadh who
has conferred honor upon us by inaugurating this forum.

The honorable present,

The start of the second session of Saudi Travel & Tourism Investment Market of Saudi Arabia
on this day is coinciding with the organization of the General Authority for Tourism and
Antiquities, with which a beginning of a new phase of the development of national tourism
was heralded. SCTA's new regulations have imposed many additional responsibilities and
tasks on it, such as full supervision on antiquities and museums, architectural heritage,
tourism accommodation, travel and tourism agencies, tour operators, tourist guides, and
several tourism activities and services. Since then SCTA was keen for finalizing what has
been approved by the government regarding National Tourism Development plan, besides
restructuring these sectors in integrated and harmonized manner. Towards this end, SCTA
has adopted methodology in line with the directives of the leadership of the country with an
the approach in the overall development for the benefit of citizens at each location, based
on the principles of partnership and integration with the regions and state institutions, the
private sector and segments of society, and focuses on the resettlement of the national
tourism development to attract people and investment.

Confirming to the SCTA's concern towards restructuring and organizing this massive
economical sector, SCTA has focused, during the past year, on a number of important
programs and projects, the most significant of which were;

       Comprehensive review for SCTA's plans and programs in the light of the new
        regulation. While new structure of SCTA must take into consideration main new
        sectors that have been added to it. Development of SCTA and its partners' capacity
        and qualifications regarding project and programs management.
       Allowing provinces to play key role in tourism and museums development,
        accordingly, 12th Provincial Tourism Organizations (POTs) have been established
        across the country, in addition to 15 bodies specialized in tourism development.
        Besides 45 provincial offices for antiquities that their performance is being
        developed. Provincial tourism councils have formed a number of tourism
        development committees across municipalities that are rich with tourism potentials,
        such as Al Ghat, Al Ola, and Al Majm'a. These committees are observing execution of
    tourism development projects within these areas. SCTA has also provided required
    financial and technical support to these committees.
   Continuous cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of Interior for the
    application of an integrated system of security procedures and programs to ensure
    the realization of the principle of "security first", so that tourism is not a burden or
    social security. This has included the implementation of a comprehensive project for
    the safety and security of tourism and a plan for risk management and exchange of
    information. In addition, training programs in the area of security in tourism,
    organized coordination between the areas of tourism in the area of security and
    protection of monuments, and operation of the electronic tourist visas for tourist
    groups in accordance with the selected controls with its headquarters in the
    Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs.
   Promoting the program to activate the plan of tourism development on the Red Sea
    determined by Council of Ministers on 16th June 2008 for developing a series of new
    tourism resorts and destinations in collaboration with Ministry of Municipal and
    Rural Affairs.
   Complete negotiation stages with the main developer of Al Ager destination
    development project, as well as developing Al Thomama Park as integrated
    entertainment destinations of Riyadh region. In addition to prepare schemes for
    developing Al Hada, Al Shef'a and Okaz Souk at Al Taif municipality.
   Opening ten centers of tourism investment services in a number of provinces for
    providing support to investors. Development of investment stimuli in the tourism
    accommodation sector, specialized accommodations as heritage hotels, ecotourism
    inns, rural rest houses, timeshare utilities, entertainment cities, diving centers,
    organizing tourism trips, events, and festivals, as well as investment in handicrafts
    and traditional industries, tourism transportations, and tourism guides services.
   Start of issuing licenses and operational approvals for tourism professions,
    accommodation utilities, travel and tourism agencies and private museum. License
    are granted to 35 tourism trip organizers, 19 tourism guides, classifying and licensing
    more than 3,500 tourism accommodation utilities, 83 tourism and travel agencies
    running through 206 offices.
   Working intensively for improving tourism accommodation utilities, raising their
    service and performance levels, developing and promoting tourism products.
    Development of procedures and measures for quality control of tourism services
    provided by these projects. Balancing between the prices and quality that will be in
    collaboration with relevant authorities. Taking into consideration that, Saudi citizen
    to whom SCTA seeks to deliver tourism service, nowadays he is no longer the same
    person that he was ten years ago, because his expectations and aspirations towards
    service quality level has massively expanded. That is what SCTA seeks to achieve
    through ensuring that the consumer receives high quality service at moderate
    prices.
   Implementation of resettlement programs in the tourism and travel,
    accommodation utilities, and tourism attraction sectors. The program till now
    included 800 trainees in addition to resettlement of jobs in antiquities and museum
    sector, 49 programs for handicrafts trades, from which 760 participants benefited
    across 17 cities. Also a program for education and training missions comprised in its
    first phase 150 male and female students, setting professional standards of ten of
    tourism professions, that besides implementing profession awareness and training
    programs and customer service, till now has covered 25,000 participants.
   Activation of programs in cooperation with universities, public and private
    educational and training institutions, as a result of which, the Faculty of Tourism and
    Antiquities in the University of King Saud, College of Tourism and Administrative
    Science in Um Al Qura'a University, specialized Institute for tourism training and
    development in King Abdul Aziz University are established. Also the foundation
    stones for establishing four specialized colleges of tourism have been laid in Riyadh,
    Al Madina, and Al Hafouf. Foundation stone of the college of tourism in Al Taif will
    be laid within next month as well as a number of specialized business incubators.
   The Kingdom has been chosen by World Tourism Organization to be the regional
    center for capacity building in the field of tourism and tourism subaccount for
    Middle East region in light of the advanced level that is achieved by the Kingdom in
    this field. Received an award from the organization, "Ulysses" in the field of tourism
    innovation in government institutions.
   Fixed and operated 20 electronic Tourist information center in a number of airports
    and major shopping centers, as well as other 80 tourism electronic centers within
    SCTA’s plan for tourism marketing. 95 signboards have been fixed for guiding to
    tourism destination sites. Distributed two million copies of maps and tourism
    guides. SCTA is also preparing for comprehensive information plan for developing
    information vision of antiquities and museums in order to make a quality shift in
    national awareness for dealing with national heritage and antiquities.
   Implimented a number of important exploration trips to the international successful
    experiences for relevant municipal and provinces' officials in the field of tourism
    security, safety, human resources development, restoration and preserving urban
    heritage.
   Started execution of the comprehensive plan for developing antiquities and
    museums sector in order to include many programs such as preservation of
    antiquities sites, development of heritage villages and sites, registering a number of
    tourism sites of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into UNESCO World heritage list,
    upgrading centers of historical cities. Improve historical cities' centers, investment in
    the heritage buildings owned by the State. Settlement of expropriated urban
    heritage buildings that were owned by Saudi citizens due to the latest resolution of
    Saudi Cabinet, restoration of smuggled out archeological pieces of the Kingdom from
    abroad, conduction of large exhibitions inside and outside the Kingdom in
    collaboration with international museums for showcasing Saudi archeological
    masterpieces, among others.
   Working for executing a plan for museums development, comprising of
    development of the National Museum in collaboration with the museum's Advisory
    Committee, to upgrade six existing regional museums, establishing five new
    museums, developing 14 heritage and historical buildings to be municipal museums,
    granting licenses for private museums as well as support their activities. Signing
    agreements between the National Museum and international museums. Establishing
a set of specialized museums such as Dar Al Qurr'an Al Kareem (Holy Qurr'an House)
at Al Madina, Huzam Palace at Jeddah, and Museum of Transport and the like.
Requesting for integral national project for developing traditional industries and
handicrafts, establishment of five permanent headquarters for artisans in addition
to eight popular markets in collaboration with Ministry of Municipal and Rural
Affairs.

Also SCTA due to a Royal instruction has submitted to the government a number of
draft regulations and important decisions for the development of tourism. Some of
which are: Report of main requirements of National Tourism Development, study of
efficient ways for funding governmental tourism development institutions for long-
term which has been conducted in collaboration between Ministry of Economic and
Planning and Ministry Finance.

We hope that, during the next period, as the government has approved the main
requirements for finalizing and developing this large economical sector the tourism
will become one of the importance economic sectors that will create employment
opportunities for Saudi citizens, and a true opportunity for growth and investment
for the benefit of the homeland, in the light of our various human and natural
potentials and resources, tourism distinguished locations, full services and modern
infrastructure. As well as our ancient civilization heritage, the rich social and cultural
heritage, a large domestic tourism market enjoying accelerated growth due to
hospitable and recipient citizen towards tourism in his country.

We are confident that, SCTA will be able to execute its assigned tasks due to the
Royal support and instructions of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His
Crown Prince the Second Deputy of Prime Minister, and HRH the Second Deputy of
Prime Minister and Minister of Interior "God Protect all of Them ".

I reiterate my thanks and appreciation to the to your highness for your honorable
patronage, also to express my appreciations and thanks to SCTA's partners in public
and private sectors who have contributed by sponsorship or participation in this
event.

I hope success for all