The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has unveiled a new campaign, entitled Saudi Summer, to encourage residents to explore the kingdom this year.
The decision comes as the country bans international visitors from making the Islamic pilgrimage, or Hajj, this year in a bid to control coronavirus.
Only a very limited number of people currently living in the kingdom may take part, an announcement on state media said.
An estimated two million people would otherwise have visited Mecca and Medina this summer for the annual gathering.
Instead, authorities hope Saudis will travel domestically this year in lieu of a holiday abroad.
The campaign launch follows research by STA, revealing that 57 per cent of Saudi residents are concerned about travelling on holiday by plane, but 85 per cent are still planning to take a break of around ten days this year.
Some 78 percent expressed curiosity in exploring their country.
“Saudi Summer comes as a wonderful opportunity to discover multiple tourist destinations in Saudi Arabia, alongside its historical, natural and cultural treasures.
“The campaign also contributes to enhancing efforts by the ministry of tourism to revive the tourism sector, which was most affected by the repercussions of the Covid-19 crisis,” said Ahmed Al Khateeb, minister of tourism for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Running until the end of September, the Saudi Summer campaign is promoting ten locations across the nation – Jeddah and KAEC; Abha; Tabuk; Khobar, Dammam and Ahsa; Al Baha; Al Taif; Yanbu and Umluj and Riyadh.
Together, these locations offer fertile valleys, quiet beaches, dense forests, cool climates, mountain peaks, buzzing cities, historic villages and more.
Travelers are encouraged to visit multiple destinations to take advantage of the different packages and activities available, from sea trips and diving, to museum visits and hiking.
“The tourism sector resumes its activities with a renewed spirit and great hopes for moving forward at an accelerated pace, to achieve our aspirations in harmony with Saudi Vision 2030, which seeks to pursue economic diversification, attract investments, increase revenues and create job opportunities for citizens,” said H Al Khateeb.
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