Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia prepares summer vacation campaign with COVID-19 measures

Saudi Arabia prepares summer vacation campaign with COVID-19 measures
Saudi Arabia prepares summer vacation campaign with COVID-19 measures

Saudi Arabia is preparing to launch a summer vacation campaign in line with coronavirus preventative measures, giving citizens and residents the opportunity to explore the country in the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) will be preparing activities and packages for people of all ages at destinations across the country, according to details disclosed by the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) to Al Arabiya English.

The staycation spots will include cities in Saudi Arabia that enjoy moderate temperatures during the summer season.

STA is working with different ministries in Saudi Arabia, especially the health ministry, as well as World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) "to ensure the touristic destinations are safe" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Saudi Arabia has already adopted the WTTC's "safety stamp" that notifies travelers businesses and sites which have adopted health and hygiene global standardized procedures.

Protocols to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus will be implemented at hotels, tourist sites, and during activities, according to STA.

The STA initiative was inspired by a survey that interviewed over 1,000 Saudis in May. The STA survey found that 81 percent of Saudi residents "would consider discovering Saudi Arabia for their next vacation," citing the country's safety and beautiful landscapes as primary reasons. 80 percent said they would avoid traveling to Europe or Asia amid the pandemic.

Over three fourths of survey participants expressed a "curiosity to explore my country" and over 80 percent said they have not yet booked vacations for summer.

STA plans to offer vacation packages to those in Saudi Arabia looking for a break this summer and the recent easing of restrictions on local travel, including the resumption of internal flights on May 31, will help facilitate domestic tourism.

Saudi Arabia's cabinet approved the establishment of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) in March, which aims to develop tourism packages and activities, host and organize tourism conferences, and promote Saudi Arabia tourism locally and internationally.

The push for domestic tourism follows the country's opening up to international tourism last year with the launch of tourist visas in September. The Kingdom welcomed over 500,000 tourists from the program launch up until the coronavirus outbreak in late February.

Saudi Arabia announced Saturday it would lift coronavirus restrictions across the country on June 21.

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