Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Saudi Arabia and Tanzania take steps beyond tourism relations

TANZANIA (eTN) - Building good relations in tourism, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania are looking at biodiversity conservation and wildlife protection as areas of cooperation involving youths from the two countries.
Rich in history and religious antiquities, Saudi Arabia is now borrowing a leaf from Tanzania’s wildlife resources for the Kingdom’s future biodiversity conservation and tourism.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has organized and sponsored a ten-day Youth Dialogue Forum in Tanzania and which brought together 50 youths from both Tanzania and Saudi Arabia.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani inaugurated Saudi-Tanzanian Youth Dialogue Forum taking place in Tanzania’s northern tourist city of Arusha, reports from the Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. A delegation of Saudi youths participating the forum including specialists from Saudi Wildlife Commission, coordinators and supervisors of the Forum's organization, and 20 male and female youths from 13 Saudi universities, reports available to eTN from the Kingdom said.
With a theme “Construction and Implementation of the Regulatory Framework for Biodiversity Conservation”, the Youth Forum is an initiative by King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia for promoting dialogue among youths worldwide under the program of Saudi International Youth Dialogue Forums.
Youths attending the forum are expected to visit Tanzania’s famous Serengeti National Park for three days to gain a field experience from various wildlife conservation projects in the park, among them, the black rhino management program; wild dogs reintroduction project, lion and hyena research projects. Before ending their dialogue, delegates are scheduled to gain more field experience from Tanzania’s leading wildlife conservation area of Ngorongoro, Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s Excellence College of Wildlife Management on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro at Mweka locality and Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute in Arusha city.
Rich in historical and religious antiquities, Saudi Arabia attracts pilgrims from Tanzania and other religious tourists who visit the Kingdom’s preserved historical and cultural heritage sites.
Muslim pilgrims from Tanzania visit Saudi Arabia every year during Hajj caravans in Holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) said that inbound visitors to the Kingdom make short visits to the country, mostly for religious vacations. Some of these visitors are from Tanzania and other, Eastern African states.
There will be an estimated 16.7 million inbound tourist arrivals to Saudi Arabia this year. The Kingdom government has recognized the need to diversify away from its dependence on oil, and the tourism industry has been identified as a priority area for investment.
Saudi Arabia is world’s leading destination for African tourists. No immediate data available to show the number of African tourists calling to Saudi Arabia’s historical and religious sites, but the number of such visitors from this continent runs in hundreds of thousands every year.
SOURCE; By Apolinari Tairo, eTN Tanzania Correspondent

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