Saudi Travel Agencies Now Issuing Tourist Visas
Travel to the Kingdom was previously restricted to pilgrims, businessmen and family members of residents.
Saudi Arabia’s Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has reportedly issued the first licence allowing travel agencies to issue tourist visas.
The move follows the restructuring of the travel and tourism sector to categorise agencies based on the services they can offer.
Those under category D can issue visas for tourism, educational and medical purposes inside and outside the Kingdom.
The 1st licence to issue these visas was granted by the SCTH in Jeddah, according to online publication Sabq.
In October, Arabic publication Al-Watan reported that the kingdom would begin issuing tourist visas as part of a gradual rollout plan.
The first stage of the initiative will only see visas granted to tour groups through authorized operators.
The Kingdom previously suspended a similar scheme in March 2014 to allow time for infrastructure to improve.
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