Vision 2030: Saudi Arabia is Putting Tourism and Hospitality at the Forefront, says Fady Sawaya

Fady Sawaya, Area General Manager at IHG for Riyadh Central and Eastern Province and General Manager for Crowne Plaza RDC, shares his assessment of the hospitality sector in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is putting tourism at the forefront of Vision 2030. All Ministries are pushing this agenda, including the Ministry of Tourism. They are driving the tourism agenda by supporting the classification and by supporting the investors looking to invest in the sector. Other important government sectors and semi government sectors are also pushing the development of the hospitality sector. Saudi Arabia is a big market, not only for religious purposes, but also other purposes. They want to really diversify the economy to include tourism and other aspects. That is where hospitality is a big arm of this drive. You can see this through a lot of initiatives such as Red Sea, NEOM, Qiddiya, Diriyah Gate, and more. AlUla is also a big example of how the government is developing historical sites to attract tourism. In short, we are in the middle of a really big development of tourism, and for people to come for tourism they need hotels to stay in and enjoy. This is where you see the dynamic of the market between private investors, government, semi government, who are all combining their efforts to make this happen until 2030. We are very positive about it and as a senior member in this hotel, I am seeing the difference between what was happening in 2016 and what is happening right now. You can see a big push, you see more projects kicking off and you see a lot of workshops and a lot of interest in this sector and we are very happy about it”, says Fady Sawaya.

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