In an effort to kick-start tourist activity as Saudi Arabia begins to emerge from the coronavirus lockdown, the Saudi Ministry of Tourism is launching a “Saudi Summer” initiative with the slogan “tanaffas,” which is Arabic for breathe.
The plans for the initiative, which aims to promote domestic tourism, were discussed during a virtual press conference on Wednesday. They include the implementation of strict safety protocols to protect tourists.
Tourism Minister Ahmed said the ministry is working on a series of reforms in a number of sectors to improve the tourism options available to people within the country.
“We are working toward political reforms, social reforms and economic reforms,” he said.
“The amount of work that is currently being done is humongous, and we will begin to reap the benefits of this labor within two or three years,” Al-Khatib said.
Fahad Hamidaddin, the chief of investment, strategy and tourism marketing, “When we polled people on whether or not they wanted to leave the Kingdom for the summer, 81 percent replied in the negative, despite the fact that about 63 percent of them wanted to go out and have fun,”.
“A lot of tourism companies were afraid of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic would have on their business. When we showed them the data, we were able to get them on board with our plans and further one of our ultimate goals, which is to empower local businesses in the industry.
“We found that people are looking for coastlines (and) mountain ranges (to visit), and passed this sort of information on to local tourism companies.
“The pandemic has left people feeling stifled. Our role is to turn that feeling into something that could help them relax. People just want to breathe right now,” he added, which provided the inspiration for the Saudi Summer slogan.