Apr 10 2011
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700,000 visitors expected in Jeddah
A number of investors and specialists said the city's amusement parks have been maintained and safety measures are in place for domestic tourists.
Investors are demanding more events and entertainment activities all-year round. They said that the Jeddah Mayoralty's cooperation with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) is stimulating tourism. Supporting recreational facilities and resorts would benefit the Jeddah economy.
Hamed Al-Khateeb, a tourism investor and businessman, said tourism activity in Jeddah "is medium these days and we are looking forward to improvement in operational activities at amusement parks at the Jeddah Corniche ... we haven't [seen] any attractive programs at these places to attract people coming from outside the city."
Al-Khateeb hoped for the generation of new ideas to improve the domestic tourism market.
Abdullah Ahmad Al-Ghuruwi, another investor, said the city is seeing a lot of Saudi visitors to the Corniche and malls. "Evidence of this is the traffic congestion, hotels and flight reservations. This reflects Jeddah's position as a main domestic tourist destination in the country."
He said a visitor to the Jeddah Corniche could see from the tourism projects and giant towers that investments were being made to develop tourism in the city. The Emir of Makkah Province, and the Governor of Jeddah, are constantly following up facilities for investors, he said, adding that businessmen are also receiving backing and support from the SCTA.
He said the number of Saudi families coming from the country's regions is growing.
Al-Ghuruwi said the SCTA needs time to have an impact on the tourism sector.
"It (the SCTA) is on the right track. It looks forward to businessmen's initiatives to invest in the sector," he said.
Inspectors from the Civil Defense have been touring parks and recreational establishments to ensure safety measures are in place and maintenance has been conducted, he added.
Osama Ghazzawi, a businessman, said the spring break sees "good revenues" for Jeddah hotels, furnished apartments, car rental services, amusement parks, resorts and other sectors. As a coastal city Jeddah attracts Saudis from all over the Kingdom, he said, emphasizing the role of the city mayoralty and the SCTA in supporting recreational cities and resorts.
Investor Abdulaziz Bin Obaid called for the launch of a comprehensive, all-year round tourism plan in Jeddah. "This requires efforts of the mayoralty, the SCTA and the private sector."
Muhammad Al-Amri, executive director of Makkah Province's Tourism Development Board, said the board's branch in Jeddah is conducting intensive price inspections of hotels and furnished apartments, and to ensure proper recreational activities at busy malls and markets.
He said the Events Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry has licensed five events for malls and the Corniche, adding that Jeddah tourism depends mainly on malls for shopping and entertainment.
He said the organizers are responsible for promoting these events. He said the short holiday may discourage organizers to hold and promote events because the high costs and low revenue, unlike in summer when organizers have a longer time to recoup costs and make profits.
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