By Innovation-sa on January 8, 2018 in News

Saudi Arabia announced plans to grant tourist visas for visitors from 65 nations under the Saudi Arabia Muslims’ Destination initiative. The initiative, launched by Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) is another vision of Kingdom’s National Transformation Program 2020.

Being the cradle of Islam and a major destination for Muslims, Saudi Arabia, through this initiative targets pilgrims and visitors, Muslim business visitors, government guests and Muslim transit passengers. In the initial stage of its implementation, visitors from 65 countries can obtain tourist visa to Saudi Arabia through travel agency packages, quoted Mohammed A.Al-Amri, General Manager of SCTH in Makkah region.

At present, a total of 13 historic places and 10 museums have been chosen by the commission to be part of the tourism package. The program will allow pilgrims to extend their Umrah packages as well. Last year, out of 6.7 million pilgrims who arrived at the holy city of Makkah and Madinah, around 3000 pilgrims extended their stay in the Kingdom and this number is expected to increase this year as more tourism companies and Umrah establishments will complete their registration soon.

Through the initiative, the Kingdom aims to serve pilgrims and visitors and thereby achieve the goal of Vision 2030 to increase the number of pilgrims, enhance private sector contribution to tourism, cooperate with the public sector to develop infrastructure and highlight the historic heritage of the Kingdom, said Khalid Tahir, director of Saudi Arabia Muslims’ Destination initiative.