Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has established a new company to support the growth of the country’s tourism sector.
The company, named Saudi Tourism Investment Company (Asfar), will invest in new tourism projects and develop attractive destinations with hospitality, tourist attractions, retail, and food and beverage offerings in cities across Saudi Arabia, in addition to investing in the local tourism value chain, said a PIF statement.
Asfar will enable the private sector through co-investment opportunities, and by creating an attractive environment for local suppliers, contractors, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop tourism projects and destinations, thereby creating a competitive environment that will enhance the variety and quality of the hospitality and tourism offering, it said.
The company will leverage Saudi Arabia’s unique strategic location between the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe as well as the competitive advantages of its cities. It will seek to benefit from the natural beauty and diversity of Saudi Arabia’s terrain and culture to further enhance tourism experiences in the country. This will attract domestic and international tourists to a large number of untapped destinations across the country and contribute to the national target of attracting 100 million visits per year by 2030.
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. It will enable each city to make the most of its unique tourism offering, further diversifying and enriching the tourism and entertainment experience in Saudi Arabia.
“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.”
PIF owns several strategic companies that aim to invest and develop tourism destinations across Saudi Arabia, including Aseer Investment Company (AIC), which aims to transform Aseer into a year-round tourism destination, as well as Saudi Downtown Company (SDC), mandated to build and develop downtown areas within Saudi Arabia.
The launch of Asfar is in line with PIF’s strategy to unlock 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, the statement said.
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