From Travel Pulse
Saudi Arabia is swiftly transforming itself into a destination that is more open to mainstream tourism.
“Tourist visas will be introduced soon,” Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage president Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz told a press conference on Monday.
He added that a system has been established for the issuance of such visas but no timeline was announced.
The development of a more tourist-friendly environment is part of a long-term strategy known as Vision 2030, which puts in place a plan for a post-oil economy. A key driver will be tourism, and the plan calls for major investments in related infrastructure.
The Red Sea Project, a coastal lagoon covering some 50 untouched islands stretching along more than 150km unpopulated coastline, is another development designed to boost tourism, in line with the Vision 2030 plan.
A number of other announcements from the kingdom have given women increased freedom, including the ability to obtain drivers licenses and to travel without a man’s permission.
Women are also now able to attend some sports stadiums. The venues, previously open only to men, will now be updated to accommodate “families,” according to CNN.
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