A number of businessmen, media figures and citizens in Europe welcomed Saudi Arabia’s unveiling of its fresh online tourist visa program. This came during a ceremony attended by Saudi Ambassador to Switzerland, Prince Mansour bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz.
“There is no doubt that such a big step is not limited to tourism only, but it opens the door to investment in Saudi Arabia,” the ambassador told Asharq Al-Awsat on the sidelines of an embassy presser.
“Great opportunities are available for investment in tourism, and this supports the realization of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz,” he added.
The diplomat stressed that the Saudi people are known for being good and generous hosts to visitors and that this will help tourists get acquainted with the cultural depths of all parts of Saudi Arabia.
He also underscored that the launch of the new tourist visa scheme is an important event in which the Kingdom opens its diverse horizons and ancient heritage treasures to tourists from around the world.
Considered a new step towards achieving the objectives set by the Kingdom's ambitious development vision, Vision 2030, the new plan holds opportunities for communication among the peoples of the world, building bridges between cultures, and supporting development and economic diversification efforts for the well-being and prosperity of future Saudi generations.
Businessman and international tourism expert Nick Sloane, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, positively reviewed the new plan, saying that Saudi Arabia’s geographic and natural diversity qualifies it to become a global tourism hotspot.
The one-year, multiple-entry visa scheme unveiled late Friday allows for stays of up to 90 days at a time, and marks the first time the country is allowing foreigners to visit solely for the purpose of tourism.