The United Nation’s tourism unit has hailed new Saudi Arabian legislation aimed at protecting the country’s historic sites.
The new law will also give the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) the mandate to ensure the preservation of the kingdom’s heritage.
It said in a statement that heritage conservation is today fundamental to safeguard cultural legacy but also to promote and preserve key tourism assets which are central to differentiating destinations all around the world.
UN tourism unit Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said: “Cultural tourism – the movement of travellers motivated by the mosaic of art forms, heritage sites, festivals, traditions, and pilgrimages – is growing at an unprecedented rate,” he said.
“These is positive news as the nexus between culture and tourism translates into important income generation for destinations but also for conservation, and such growth needs to be managed in a responsible and sustainable manner through adequate public policies and legislation”, he added.
The Saudi law on antiquities, museums and built heritage approval coincided with the recent inclusion of the Jeddah Historical Area in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.