Saudi tourism fund signs MoU to promote entrepreneurial talent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Development Fund signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Endeavor Network to support local and international entrepreneurs in the tourism sector.

Signed during the Future of Hospitality event currently held in Dubai, the agreement aims to enhance opportunities for entrepreneurs with support programs, financing, investment solutions, and services that both parties already provide.

“The Tourism Development Fund affirms its keenness to support and empower targeted entrepreneurs, to reach the best global experiences in entrepreneurship, and to improve the tourist experience by creating tourism technologies and quality projects,” the CEO of the tourism fund, Qusai bin Abdullah Al-Fakhri said in a statement.

Endeavor Saudi Arabia CEO Latifa Wallan explained that the company will further support businesses in the tourism sector in line with Saudi Vision 2030 goals.

Saudi Endeavor Network is the local representative of Endeavor International, a nonprofit organization that provides acceleration, promotion, and mentoring opportunities to entrepreneurs and startups in the Kingdom.

Overall tourism spending in Saudi Arabia, including residents and foreigners, rose 52 percent in 2021 to SR95.6 billion ($25.5 billion) from SR63.4 billion the previous year, data published by the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, revealed.

According to SAMA, domestic tourism in the Kingdom, which includes residents traveling on holiday, soared 86.6 percent to SR80.9 billion ($21.6 billion) in 2021 from SR43.35 billion in 2020.

Holidays and shopping alone contributed 58.2 percent of domestic tourism, totaling SR47.1 billion.

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