(MENAFN - Arab News) Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), has said that the commission foresees new government initiatives to support financing tourism projects and services aimed at making the industry sustainable.
He pointed out that this year was exceptional for the tourism industry because of the structural changes to strengthen the base of the industry. The measures were necessary in the absence of an umbrella organization to bring all sectors of tourism-oriented services together.
Addressing a press conference at the STCA headquarters here on Tuesday prior to preparations for the Sixth Saudi Forum on Travel and Tourism Investment of 2013, Prince Sultan said he expects major decisions by the government in view of the importance of this sector to the national economy in terms of providing employment opportunities for citizens in various regions in the country.
The five-day event is being organized by the SCTA from March 31-April 4 under the aegis of Riyadh Gov. Prince Khaled bin Bandar, who is also chairman of the Tourism Development Council in Riyadh region. The event will take place at the Riyadh International Exhibition and Conference.
Referring to the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the crown prince to focus on domestic tourism, Prince Sultan highlighted their significance in view of the role of this sector in creating jobs for citizens. As such, any scheme for boosting investment in this sector for streamlining the services and infrastructure facilities will have a multiplier effect on the economy.
He also underlined the contribution of the private sector in upgrading services and offering various programs for Saudi tourists that would pave the way for the growth of supply of services and programs and to contribute to the reduction of prices.
"This year we expect crucial decisions from the leadership and will announce these decisions during the upcoming event," Prince Sultan said, adding that among them is the establishment of specialized companies with government contributions in the projects.
Prince Sultan pointed out that the SCTA pursues an advanced administrative method to conduct a thorough review of their performance and achievements on a weekly basis. It is also working to streamline their performance.
In this context, he added: "We at the SCTA consider ourselves remiss in many areas we are working on to develop as a government institution. We think of ourselves as a contributor who answers to citizens."
He added, "We can organize our work in a way understood by citizens. To make it transparent, there will be a meeting with the leadership every Saturday through a video link at eight in the morning with other bureaus across the Kingdom to facilitate visual communication."
During the course of the meeting, he reiterated that "we review all of our tasks for the following week and our accomplishments during the week. There will also be a quarterly and monthly meeting of the Management Committee, in addition to the annual meeting that brings together all employees of the SCTA to review the work of the Commission and its performance."