Saudi Arabia's Vision2030 is a strategic framework to reduce Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors, including tourism. Under Vision2030, the NTP, a coordinating unit involving 24 Saudi government entities, aims to develop the government capacity and capabilities required to establish the necessary legal and physical infrastructure to achieve Vision2030's goals.
In the context of the Saudi tourism sector, the NTP aims at marketing Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination regionally and globally through the development of advanced infrastructure, the preparation of the necessary regulations and legislation, and the building of institutional capacities, all of which should contribute to creating jobs and increasing the contribution of the tourism sector to the Kingdom's economy. But the NTP recognizes that the development of the Saudi tourism sector faces a number of challenges, including:
The Tourism Development Fund
Preliminary Comments. The Tourism Development Fund Law ("Law") provides in part that the Law will not come into force until 90 days after the Law's publication in the Saudi Arabian Official Gazette. The Law was published on June 26, 2020, and therefore came into force on September 23, 2020.
Investment, Financing, and Advice. The authority of the Fund includes (but is not limited to) the authority to invest its funds in assets, to provide financing to businesses operating in the tourism sector or related sectors, and to provide advice to businesses operating in the tourism sector or related sectors.
The Board is the authority responsible for establishing the Fund's policies. Until such policies are established, the terms upon which the Fund may provide financing will remain unknown. However, we would speculate (and this is only speculation) that the Fund will be to the Saudi tourism industry what the Saudi Industrial Development Fund is to Saudi industry: a source of medium- and long-term soft loans whose terms will vary with the location and the size of the project being financed.
Tourism is a key driver of Vision2030, and the Fund can reasonably be expected to play an important role in attracting and supporting investments, incentivizing the development of, and overcoming some of the challenges facing the Saudi tourism sector. Businesses (whether domestic or international) involved in the tourism sector or related sectors should closely follow the development of the Fund.
The Tourism Development Fund (TDF) has launched the AWN Tourism and Hospitality program to support small and micro tourism businesses in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the resources they need to realize their objectives and aspirations within the tourism industry.
The Tourism Development Fund (TDF) and Hilton have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the establishment of a strategic partnership with the objective of launching several leisure entertainment tourism destinations across the KSA.
The Tourism Development Fund (TDF) which entered into a tripartite partnership with Ennismore, the fastest-growing lifestyle hospitality company in the world, and Al Rajhi Capital, one of the leading Asset Managers in Saudi Arabia, has identified multiple sites to develop exciting lifestyle developments across the Kingdom, including urban beachfront sites.
The Tourism Development Fund (TDF) signed today a cooperation agreement with the Project Management Institute in Saudi Arabia to develop educational programs and training courses for the Fund’s employees, clients, and contracting investors. The agreement aims to help upskill talents and nurture capabilities in the management of tourism projects, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 objectives.