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Saudi tourism sector to create 1.8 M jobs by 2020

RIYADH (Xinhua) - Saudi tourism sector is set to create around 1.3 million jobs by 2015 and 1.8 million by 2020, Arab News reported on Sunday.

Arab News quoted the annual report of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) for 2012-13 as saying that the tourism sector plans to increase 1.3 million job opportunities by 2015 and 1.8 million by 2020 in tourism sub-sectors and indirect jobs in areas induced by tourism-related activity.

The number of direct jobs in the tourism sector in 2012 amounted to about 709,000, an increase of 5.9 percent from the previous year, among which Saudization percentage reached about 26. 7 percent compared to 26.4 percent in the previous year, said the report.

The share of domestic tourism in the country's GDP in 2012 increased by 6.8 percent compared to 2011, and the percentage of the non-oil sector's contribution to the GDP touched slightly higher with an "added-value" from 7.3 percent to 7.4 percent.

According to the recent report of Al Hayat newspaper, Saudi Arabia's tourism depends mainly on local tourists, attracting foreign tourists comes as part of the country's future plans. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is one of the top countries in the world in religious tourism.

Saudi Arabia offers both natural and historical wonders, from the mountain resorts of Taif and the majesty of ancient Nabatean tombs to the multicolored coral reefs of the Red Sea.  

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