The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Tourism Guidance Association, Sattam Al-Balawi, revealed to “Okaz” that Asir region is leading the Saudi breathing season this year in the turnout side. He said that Asir had the lion’s share in the number of tourists, and the most important thing was the discovery of tourist destinations that the season made available to citizens and residents, such as Tabuk, Al Wajh, Umluj and Yanbu. These destinations are expected to attract more visitors in the coming years, especially with the approaching opening of major projects.Al-Balawi revealed that the guide’s daily wage depends on his skill, capabilities, experience, and ability to market himself and gain the trust of tour operators, as some of their daily ranges between 1000 and 1500 riyals, and some of those considered new to the profession get between 300 and 500, and the matter as I mentioned is dependent on the guide and the organizer according to the agreement. Al-Balawi attributed the high wages of the guides to the small number of them and the modest number of trips.
Al-Balawi stressed that the regulations apply to everyone, whether citizens, residents or visitors, and over the 14-year period of his career in guidance – it has been proven to him with certainty that tourists respect our culture and social customs, and the guides are keen to alert tourists to the values and customs of the local community.
Regarding the tasks of guides in cruise ships, Al-Balawi explained, holding specialized courses for guides in this regard, and that the guide’s work is not inside the ship while it is sailing, but upon its arrival on land, as he takes care of receiving tourists and accompanying them at sites of tourist attractions, but inside the sea there are no sites for him. A tourist to explain about her. Regarding the most prominent tourist attractions, Al-Balawi said that it consists in the existence of various programs in the types of tourism and the organization of events that help attract the targeted visitors in sports, entertainment, cultural and commercial events by organizing international conferences and exhibitions.
On the rise in hotel and restaurant prices, he said that the market is subject to the law of supply and demand, and as long as there is a shortage in the number of rooms available, the price is high, and what is required is increased investment in the accommodation sector, adding that what distinguishes Saudi society is its welcoming of others, and openness to tourism represents a real opportunity to change the stereotype. About the Saudi society and it will prove to the world that we are a welcoming, considerate and loving society. Al-Balawi added that the mission of the Saudi Tourist Guidance Association is centered on raising the efficiency of tour guides and guides, enabling them to provide their service to tourists with high quality, representing society and its culture, providing guests with historical and geographical information, and enabling them to have a real experience that fosters in their memories, in addition to that the tour guide will leave the tourist a positive and correct impression about The kingdom, its people, and its culture.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Tourism Guidance Association stated that the number of guides about two years ago was about 600, and now the number has reached 900, and there is a plan to target 13,000 guides by 2030 so that we can provide service to about 20% of the number of tourists targeted by the Ministry of Tourism (100 million tourists) .
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