Umbrella Programme for the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage

What is the project about

 Alt TextThe old city of Jeddah has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site (Photo by: Laura Bashraheel)

This Umbrella Programme is conceived with the objective of designing a long-term framework for the technical cooperation between the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage and the UN System in the context of the strategic national quest for economic diversification, including the increased contribution of promising services sectors such as tourism. The other objectives of the Programme include assistance in institutional capacity building as well as providing advisory services in meeting the SCTH’s mandate as the central body responsible for activating the tourist industry and strengthening its role as a major contributor to the national economy with a positive social, cultural and environmental impact. The advisory part of the Programme will immediately start responding to the urgent requests of SCTH in terms of thematic studies and capacity building activities.


Project outcomes

The project aims to deliver three specific outputs:

  • Review, evaluate, comment, and bring to the international standards, a list of policy discussion papers.
  • Preparing tourism master plan for selected Tourism Development Areas (TDAs) and Tourism Sites (TSs).
  • Respond to requests for case studies and best practices.

What have we accomplished so far?

  • National Center for Promotion of Handcrafts development and operationalized was established.
  • Master-planes for two tourist attractions, one at the Arabian Gulf and the other along the Red Sea coast, were, development and operated.
  • A comprehensive set of legal regulations was developed and enacted to promote private sector’s investment in the sector.
  • 118 national tourist guides were trained in rural areas of antiquity sites (namely, the Western Region areas of the Red Sea).

The potential for future cooperation

Future cooperation with SCTA will focus on: Increasing employment levels in tourism sector particularly in the rural areas: presently tourism is the second employer of Saudis at 25% of total employment with the possibility of getting this percentage increase by 8%; Promoting heritage tourism in terms of adopting sound regulations and conducting marketing campaigns to raise public awareness of this heritage; and capacity development for the inspection process (individual capacity development).

Potentially, the project could involve UNESCO to support the department for heritage management within SCTH. 


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