100,000 more hotel rooms by 2020: SCTH


Saudi Gazette report

— The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) is aiming to increase the number of hotel rooms in the country to 600,000 by 2020 from 500,000 at the end of last year.

"This will positively affect the prices with a view to reducing them and will at the same time increase competitiveness," SCTH said in a statement.

According to the commission, there are 1,885 licensed hotels in the Kingdom, in addition to 5,265 furnished apartments.

The SCTH said, at the end of 2017, there were 500,000 hotel rooms in the Kingdom, which it plans to increase to 600,000 by the year 2020.

The commission said it prepared a comprehensive national strategy to develop about 22 new tourist sites.

It said the strategy was aimed at developing new tourist locations taking into account the recreational and entertainment requirements of the people.

The commission said the private sector would play an important role in developing these areas according to commercial standards.

"A conducive atmosphere will be created to encourage the private sector invest in the tourism activities," it said.

The SCTH said investment portals would be especially opened for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to contribute to the development of the far-away areas.

"This will create a balanced development across regions and will promote migration from big cities to the countryside," it said.

The commission said the development of new tourist areas would create real jobs for Saudi cadres.

It said the provision of more accommodation facilities would ultimately reduce prices in favor of the customers with increased competition among hotels and furnished apartments, which would subsequently improve the level of services extended to customers.