Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has created a new company to oversee its upcoming tourism projects. This is in line with Saudi’s goal to attract 100 mn tourists by 2030.
The newly launched Saudi Tourism Investment Company (Asfar) will play a key role in Saudi’s Vision 2030 strategy. It is envisioned to contribute to the diversification of Saudi’s economy.
Partnership with the private sector
In addition, Asfar will establish strategic partnerships with the private sector through joint investment schemes. Moreover, it is intent on laying the groundwork for opening the tourism sector to contractors and local suppliers. It will also tap small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for developing destination and tourism projects.
Similarly, Saudi’s PIF is promoting competitiveness among stakeholders to increase visitor arrival rates by diversifying hospitality offerings.
For example, it will pursue collaborative initiatives with key players from other industries, such as food and beverage, outdoors and adventure, and wedding and ecotourism. Additionally, it will strengthen its Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector to enhance its strategy.
Asfar will be leveraging Saudi Arabia’s unique geographic location at the cross-section of Asia, Africa and Europe. This is part of its broader goal to become a global destination hub for business and leisure travel.
Saudi PIF on a mission
Asfar aims to draw tourists from around the world through Saudi Arabia’s natural beauty, diverse culture and breathtaking terrains.
It will create memorable tourism experience in untapped destinations across the country.
Supporting the national economy
Mishary Alibraheem, Head of Entertainment, Leisure and Sport sector in MENA Investments at PIF, said “Asfar will activate the role that Saudi Arabia’s cities play in supporting the national economy.”
Each city must have a unique attraction that will entice tourists to come, thus, help in the country’s overall tourism agenda.
“Saudi’s PIF tourism projects and companies are working side by side, supporting and strengthening the tourism ecosystem. The creation of the company is in line with PIF’s strategy to create opportunities in the tourism sector and reinforce strategic partnership opportunities with the private sector, creating jobs and diversifying sources of income for the local economy in line with Saudi Vision 2030,” Alibraheem said.
Strategic companies formed
Tasked to take the lead in diversifying Saudi Arabia’s economy, PIF owns several strategic companies.
These include Aseer Investment Company (AIC) and Saudi Downtown Company (SDC). They aim to invest and develop tourism attractions across the country.
AIC will develop the province of Aseer into a major tourism destination while SDC is tasked to build and develop downtown areas within Saudi Arabia.
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