Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism has started the Tourism Development Fund with SR15bn ($4bn) in initial capital to support its economic diversification strategy.
The fund will offer equity and debt investment vehicles for local tourism businesses and is said to have entered agreements with local lenders as well.
Private sector developments will be incentivised by the fund in collaboration with privately held and investment banks.
The fund’s launch marks the first phase of the National Tourism Strategy that Saudi Arabia has introduced to target 38 tourism sites in seven locations by 2022.
The fund will be used to support the development of mixed-use projects and gaps in the kingdom’s tourism value chain.
Its launch follows the February 2020 confirmation of the Ministry of Tourism as a standalone entity and as the strategic and regulatory authority for tourism in Saudi Arabia.
The royal decree by King Salman bin Abdulaziz earlier this year also approved the formation of Saudi Tourism Authority, tasked with the marketing of local tourism products.
Ahmed al-Khateeb, former president of the legacy Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage, was appointed Saudi Arabia’s tourism minister at the time.
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