DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia plans to launch a tourism development fund with an initial capital of $ 4 billion as part of plans to diversify its economy in the face of the Corona pandemic and lower oil prices, the Saudi Ministry of Tourism said on Sunday.
The ministry said in a statement that the fund will launch investment tools in debt and stocks to develop the tourism sector in cooperation with private banks and investment banks.
“The launch of the fund at the present time, while the tourism sector faces unprecedented global challenges, demonstrates the confidence of the investor and the private sector in the long-term outlook for tourism in Saudi Arabia,” Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khatib said.
Tourism is one of the main pillars of Saudi economic reforms aimed at reducing dependence on oil revenues.
Saudi Arabia opened its doors to tourists from all over the world last year and launched a visa system that tempts foreign companies to invest in the sector, which the kingdom hopes will contribute more than ten percent of GDP by 2030, up from three percent now.
Analysts expect severe economic contraction in Saudi Arabia this year due to the repercussions of the measures contained pandemic Covid-19 and the sharp decline in oil revenues.