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Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities announces Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market 2010

Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities announces Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market 2010 ( The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) announced in a news conference the details of the Third Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market 2010 (STTIM 2010), which will be launched next Sunday, March 28, 2010 and run until the April 1, 2010 at the Riyadh International Exhibitions Center in Riyadh.

SCTA officials at the press conference reviewed the importance of STTIM, its objectives, its success in the past two sessions, and the most important characteristic of this year's event. Information on the opening ceremony, STTIM agenda, scientific sessions, speakers, workshops, cultural and handicrafts activities, the fine and photography exhibition, and the participating companies were given.

Mr. Abdulla bin Sulaiman Al Jehani, vice president of SCTA for marketing and media, the head of the steering committee of STTIM, said that the forum this year is held under the theme “Tourism and employment," specifically focusing on strategies of employment in the tourism sector within the economic role of the tourism industry, as well as its impact on the national economy. He added that during the last two sessions, a better understanding, cooperation, and awareness were formed among tourism industry partners reflecting the cultural side of Saudi tourism.

Al Jehani indicated that the forum is considered one of SCTA's initiatives to support and enhance tourism activity. It represents an important occasion for offering and enhancing tourism investment opportunities in the kingdom. He further added that the event is increasingly becoming one of the most important tourism exhibition events in the region that aims to develop the tourism industry, tourism investment, and discuss prominent issues that concern the tourism and travel sector, as well as providing a proper environment for the leaders of the tourism and travel industry.

Additionally, STTIM aims at presenting tourism as a productive sector within the national economy, encouraging and stimulating new investment initiatives besides brining out the kingdom's rich potentials, and various investments in different areas of tourism.

On economic interests of the forum, Al Jehani said: “We are talking about an industry, the revenues of which have reached according to MAS reports, SR 70 billion. Its contribution in the non-oil GDP is 6.5 percent. It also includes more than 40,000 tourism facilities as of now; beside[s] the sector has provided 445,000 direct jobs to the nationals." He added, the forum is supporting these positive indications, and it is expected that the tourism contribution to GDO to increase to 11 percent during the coming years, as it is happening in many other countries across the world.

Furthermore, Mr. Al-Jehani commented that creating job opportunities is a key concern in SCTA's mission, taking into account that the tourism sector has an economic weight and is one of the most important sectors that generate job opportunities. He added that SCTA is working through different projects in this respect, such as the National Projects for Tourism Human Resources Development (Takamul), which aims at Saudization of jobs in the tourism and travel sector; besides it is working in programs devoted to rehabilitate Saudis to work in the accommodation sector. He said during the event, many opportunities for training in this respect will be announced.

Dr. Fahad Al Jarbou, assistant vice president of SCTA for marketing, said that STTIM will witness conduction of 4 scientific sessions and 8 workshops on employment and the tourism sector, in which 21 speakers will participate. He further stated that the forum's sessions will discuss four major themes. The first one is on the strategic vision on tourism recruitment, the second will discuss rehabilitation and training in tourism sector, while the last two themes will focus on finance mechanisms and private sector vision on recruitment in tourism sector.

Dr. Al Jarbou further added: “Besides that, workshops that will discuss the development of tourism products and the role of tourism trip organizers in the development of tourism activity in the region, as well as developing tourism programs and investment opportunities, investment in small and medium enterprises, and the impact of festivals on tourism and local communities.

A number of accompanying events will be held on the margin of STTIM, which includes various folklore performances, handicrafts shows, genuine Arabic horses show, Badia tent, and a photography and fine arts exhibition, as well as organization of tourism trips for participants and visitors of the forum to significant tourism landmarks in Riyadh city and its outskirts.

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Najla A. Al-Khalifah Email:

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