His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President of SCTA, has pointed out that the safety and security enjoyed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is reflected in its domestic tourism and became a key factor in its success, and pointed out that security is a key pillar of tourism in various countries around the world.
The SCTA President was addressing the opening ceremony of the âSafety and Security of Tourism and Antiquities" forum, which was organized by the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS) in collaboration with SCTA on the University campus.
HRH President of SCTA in his speech commended the great efforts of NAUSS in the field of tourism security and its distinct cooperation with SCTA in addition to its efforts in the organization of this forum, which concerns safety and security of tourism and antiquities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
"This sector is enjoying the continued support from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and HRH Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz,â HRH pointed out.
HRH President of SCTA in his speech also referred to the patronage of Late Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz to SCTA since the beginning whether in the capacity of the Chairman of its Board and the Minister of Interior or as Chairman of the Supreme Council of NAUSS. HRH in this context referred to the support SCTA enjoys from HRH Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, the present Minister of Interior.
"I appreciate the constructive and special cooperation between SCTA and NAUSS, and also with other security sectors without exception, and I refer here also, especially to the great national efforts of the Late Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz for the national security and stability which we enjoy and taste its fruits everywhere today. I also recall his efforts in promoting relations between the Commission and the Ministry of Interior as the Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Board of SCTA.
Inspiring from the efforts of Late Prince Naif, today we maintain good relations with various departments of the Interior Ministry and at different levels, including the exchange of information and issues police stations.
"I would like to seize this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude to my colleague the member of coordinating committee, who is also my partner in this steering committee, HRH Prince Mohammad bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz, Assistant of Minister of Interior, for his unlimited support and persistent efforts in exchange of information and all related issues regarding licensing and Civil Defense matters and facilitating information required by SCTA from seekers of tourist guide licenses or other companies, and also for the security cover he has provided to several tourism sites and activities across the Kingdom.
"Tourism is an important economic, social and national project, and it cannot be developed and promoted without the provision of safety and security. People's large acceptance of tourism as well as their increased demand to accelerate tourism development could not happen without the existence of safety and security.
"SCTA, in conjunction with its partners, is keen to provide safety and security throughout the tourism events and facilities, including accommodation facilities, in addition to archeological, heritage sites and museums, to avoid accidents or disasters on these locations.
"Safety and security preventive measures and criteria made by relevant authorities such as SCTA, Civil Defense, Police, and Municipalities, reduce human and material loss when disasters occur," said the President of SCTA.
HRH President of SCTA, further added that SCTA, since its inception, has worked closely with the Ministry of Interior. Cooperation efforts between the two sides were interpreted in several special memorandums of cooperation, and accordingly, tourism safety and security is achieved on the ground.
"Kingdom, just as in many countries, does not suffer in [the] security area. However, we work very hard to provide means of comfort, safety, and stability to the domestic tourists who are the prime interest of the government, in an attempt to make domestic tourism successful. To this end, SCTA is working on different levels to provide proper services in collaboration with public relevant departments.â
"It is very important today to enable citizen to experience tourism in his homeland and not just to see it as a place to reside, or do business or earn his livelihood. It is very important, for the citizen, especially children and youth, to experience life in his homeland, know about their own history and heritage, and explore different parts of their country, enjoy it, and meet their fellow citizens.
"People should know about the great unity in the Kingdom and how the Kingdom was united and who made it possible. Without exception, each and every tribe, family, or a village in the Kingdom had a contribution in the efforts of the unification of the Kingdom. The unification efforts are absent in the mind of some of the citizens at present, especially the youth. They seem to think it to have happened only on the Internet, and this, in my opinion, is a national 'security breach' for citizens who do not know their homeland and do not appreciate their country's history and the great efforts and sacrifices made in its unification.â
HRH said that the Commission has made multiple efforts in the field of tourism security through the formation of a steering committee for tourism safety and security. The members of the committee is comprised of the SCTA President and the Assistant Minister of Interior. SCTA also in this respect has prepared the framework for tourism risk management, in addition to issuing a number of manuals and publications on tourism safety and security. Also, a permanent standing executive committee was formed to manage emergency and disasters related to tourism and antiquities. He pointed out that SCTA coordinates with different departments of the Ministry of Interior to execute the action plan of tourism safety and security.
"SCTA, in collaboration with the representatives from the Ministry of Interior, has conducted exploration visits to a number of countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Spain, and Morocco in an effort to benefit from their experience in the field of safety and security. In the field of training, SCTA has cooperated with the Ministry of Interior in training 29,549 security-force personnel in dealing with tourists. The trainees belonged to General Security, Passport Department, Border Guard, and other security sectors, the Prince said.
His Excellency Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Saqr Al Ghamdi, Chancellor of NAUSS, for his part, has expressed his appreciations and gratitude to HRH President of SCTA, referring to his efforts in strengthening the relationship between SCTA and the NAUSS.
"The university will save no efforts to provide required support to the employees of SCTA in the light of SCTA's keenness to promote capabilities of its employees," added NAUSS Chancellor.