Saudi cabinet okay’s 3 bodies to boost tourism

The objectives of these bodies include serving the interests of their members

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The Council of Ministers on Monday approved the formation of three bodies under the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) to boost the Kingdom’s travel and tourism sector.

The weekly session of the Cabinet, chaired by Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz, took the decision after reviewing a report presented by SCTA president in this regard.

The new bodies are Saudi Society for Tourist Accommodation facilities, Saudi Society for Tourist Guides, and the Saudi Society for Travel and Tourism.

Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja said these non-profit professional bodies will enjoy legal status and have independent financial powers.

The objectives of these bodies include serving the interests of their members, rendering social and cultural services to the members, extending support to attract investments from the private sector in the areas of their activities, in addition to organizing certified training and educational courses in coordination with the concerned authorities.

Dr. Khoja said the Cabinet approved the constitution of a general assembly and a board of directors for each one of these bodies. There will also be an executive director to supervise each agency to carry out technical, financial and administrative work.

The Cabinet authorized the head of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) or his deputy to sign two memoranda of understanding between PME and Korea’s Meteorological Department for cooperation in the field of meteorology and Ministry of Environment for cooperation in the fields of protection, development and preservation of environment.

The Cabinet approved special conditions on land transport safety among GCC countries which were approved by the GCC ministerial council meeting held on March 7, 2011.

At the outset of the session, Dr. Khoja said, the Cabinet thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for the approval of SR80 billion allocation for the education sector for the next five years.

The Cabinet emphasized that this support stems from the King’s vision that education in the Kingdom shall be a distinguished model, a major pillar for investment and development, and an extension of the continuing care provided for this sector by the leaders.

On the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Cabinet highlighted the call of King Abdullah that GCC should move beyond the phase of cooperation to the stage of a union to achieve good and contribute to more cohesion, cooperation, coordination and integration among the member countries.

The Cabinet called on all Libyans to stop violence and bolster efforts to achieve the aspirations of the Libyan people to have a secure and prosperous country. It reiterated that dialogue is the ideal way to tackle all issues, preserve the state’s achievements and confront the challenges facing the country.

Denouncing the recent terror attacks that ripped the China’s Chingyang, the Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom’s firm position rejecting violence in all forms and manifestations.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on May 27, 2014.