The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced the launching of a Tourism Development Fund worth $4 billion to boost growth across the sector.
The kingdom’s Ministry stated that “The fund will launch a range of equity and debt investment vehicles, with an initial $4 billion (SR15 billion) capital and $45 billion (SR165 billion) in memoranda of understanding already signed with private banks.”
The Tourism Development Fund was approved by Saudi’s Council of Ministers to collaborate with private and investment banks and support private-sector developments and incentivize further investment across the industry.
“The Tourism Development Fund will play a critical role in developing outstanding tourism experiences and unlocking the full potential of Saudi Arabia as a destination,” said Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism.
Ahmed added that “The launch of the fund at this time, as the tourism sector faces unprecedented global challenges, is testament to investor and private-sector confidence in the long-term outlook for tourism in Saudi Arabia.
“The social and economic importance of the sector cannot be understated: it drives growth and diversification, attracts international investment, creates job opportunities and enhances quality of life for millions of Saudis.”
The Tourism Development Fund’s launch is part of the first phase of the National Tourism Strategy, which focuses on developing and enhancing 38 sites across seven destinations by 2022.
Funding will be deployed to support mixed-use destinations, to address gaps in the tourism value chain, and to enable technologically-enhanced tourism.
Projects supported by the fund will include flagship mixed-use and hospitality developments by leading international operators and investors with the aim of enhancing Saudi Arabia’s tourism offering, supporting growth across domestic and international tourism, attracting foreign direct investment and driving job creation.