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Saudi Arabia plans to resume issuing tourist visas early next year after more than seven months of suspension as part of measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus, the kingdom’s Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khatib has said.
“For a tourist visa, until now we are talking about early next year. If things get better or if any positive developments happen with regards to the vaccine, we might accelerate and have it earlier,” Al Khatib told Reuters.
Last year, Saudi Arabia launched a new visa scheme aimed at attracting foreign holidaymakers to the kingdom as part of a plan to diversify its oil-reliant economy.
The instant tourist visa is obtained online or upon arrival at the Saudi airports.
The global new coronavirus pandemic has hard hit the Saudi tourism sector, which, according to Al Khatib, is anticipated to suffer a 35-45 per cent drop by the end of this year.
The minister noted that the kingdom’s shift to domestic tourism during summer has eased the harm.
Saudi authorities launched a summer promotional campaign encouraging citizens and foreign residents to spend their holidays at Saudi attractions.
The campaign increased occupancy rates at hotels inside Saudi Arabia to reach 80 per cent of their overall capacity on average, according to news portal Sabq.
Saudi Arabia’s pre-virus aim was to attract 100 million visitors annually by 2030. In recent weeks, the kingdom has seen a steady decline in its daily infection rates amid relaxed related restrictions.
What's your reaction about this news🥰𝙒𝙚 𝙝𝙤𝙥𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙡𝙚. 𝙋𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙚 𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙩 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙁𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙪𝙗𝙨𝙘𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙬𝙚𝙗𝙨𝙞𝙩𝙚 𝙗𝙮 𝙘𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝘽𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙄𝙘𝙤𝙣 (𝙇𝙚𝙛𝙩 𝘽𝙤𝙩𝙩𝙤𝙢 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙋𝙖𝙜𝙚) 𝙩𝙤 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙛𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙏𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙡𝙚.🥰
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