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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) issued over 10,000 tourism licenses in 2019, Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper reported.
These licenses covered the activities of tourism accommodation facilities, travel and tourism agencies, trip organization, tourist guidance, reservation offices and tourism accommodation marketing.
The number of penalties imposed on tourism facilities reached 1,268 at a total value of SR12.67 million last year.
In addition, the penalties issued against tourism accommodation facilities stood at 564 in 2019, with 313 penalties imposed in Riyadh, 30 in the Eastern Region and 221 in Jeddah.
Meanwhile, the SCTH announced that visitors can now use existing UK, US, and Schengen area country visas to obtain Saudi Arabia visitor visas at airport arrivals regardless of their citizenship.
Visitors intending to benefit from the new regulation must have previously used the visa to travel to any one of these countries before entering Saudi Arabia.
SCTH said that this development is a continuation of the launch of the tourist visa, and the Kingdom opening its doors to the world. The policy builds on the Kingdom's historic visa launch in September 2019.
“There is an existing committee chaired by the chairman of the board of directors of SCTH, Ahmed Al-Khatib, working to define the goals and the mechanism for applying the structure of the visitor visas,” SCTH added.
Visitors who obtain a tourist or commercial visa to these countries can now enter the Kingdom via tourist visa upon arrival only.
The visitor to the Kingdom must have used his visa to visit the US, Britain, or any of the Schengen countries, before entering Saudi Arabia.
Currently, citizens from 49 countries are eligible to apply for an e-Visa online or get a visa of arrival into Saudi Arabia.
The tourist visa allows for a stay of up to 3 months per entry, with visitors able to spend 90 days a year in Saudi Arabia. The visa is valid for one year, with multiple entries.
This is the latest step taken by Saudi Arabia to open its doors to tourists from different countries of the world.
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