Security force to protect Saudi national heritage proposed

Tourism experts proposed the need to establish a tourism police department in the Kingdom

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Tourism experts proposed on Friday the need to establish a tourism police department in the Kingdom, Al-Madina reported.

Naif Arab University for Security Sciences Professor Mohammad Al-Thaqafi, said experts at the conference on the preservation of national heritage and tourism here, stressed the need for such a force.

"In the forum, experts spoke about the importance of security in the preservation of national heritage and the public awareness regarding the topic. Experts also reviewed the history of security in tourism in the Arab World," said Al-Thaqafi.

The forum was organized by the university and in cooperation with the Saudi Authority for National Heritage, Taif Municipality, the Arab Organization for Tourism and the Taif Chamber for Commerce and Industry.

"Attendees of the forum and speakers agreed on the need to cooperate in order to establish an authority of high security to protect national heritage from getting destroyed in catastrophes, wars and natural disasters," said Al-Thaqafi.

He added experts also promoted the idea of writing a tourist's rights manual to educate tourists on their rights and responsibilities.

Civil Defense researcher Ali Al-Shihry said preserving national heritage is the responsibility of the government and the local citizens.

"I presented a paper on a case study of the people of Almaa Village. It is a historical village in Asir Province. In my model, the people of the village built a museum, formed a committee for the development and preservation of the historical landmarks and established a security company with the support of the public directorates there," said Al-Shihry.

Moroccan Ministry of Culture representative Ahmad Umoos said the natural national heritages are a documentation of history.

"Take the drawings on rocks and such ancient relics. They are drawn by artists who were expressing emotions resulting from events that happened in history. The natural landmarks are the most destructible kind of landmarks," said Umoos.

He added they could be destroyed by natural disasters and climate changes and by humans demolishing and vandalizing nature. "We need to raise awareness regarding natural national heritages and we need to come up with a strategy to preserve them," said Umoos.

Curriculum Development and Teaching Assistant Professor Saif Nasser at Al-Sultan Qaboos University of Oman said tourism security is divided into three categories: the security of the national heritage, the security of tourism establishments and the security of the tourist.

"Tourism in Oman is a big contributor to the economy. However, tourism is also rising, improving and opening up to the entire world in the Gulf Region. That is why we need to, now more than ever, work together through solid partnerships to ensure the safety and sustainability of tourism in the region," said Nasser.

Al-Thaqafi said experts agreed to hold the forum annually to ensure the growth of tourism in the Arab World.