Umrah Plus to be launched soon
The Umrah Plus program would be launched soon to allow foreign pilgrims to visit some of the Kingdom’s most attractive cultural and religious landmarks, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) announced recently.
Abdul Aziz Al-Hussain, the SCTNH’s director general in Riyadh, said preparations are almost complete. Umrah companies are currently tying up partnerships with tour companies in the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the Travel and Tourism Pioneers Forum was launched recently in Riyadh with 35 companies from around the world participating.
Nasser Al-Hamdi, Egypt’s ambassador to the Kingdom, said the country is prepared to receive Saudi tourists. About 430,000 tourists visited Egypt in 2013 and 2014, he said.
Prince Saif Al-Islam bin Abdul Aziz said the travel and tourism sector in the Kingdom has grown significantly and now made up 5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The plan is to ensure annual growth of 10 percent over the next five years, compared to 6 percent last year and 4 percent in 2014.