The Ministry of Tourism went through several stages to reach its current status and become the first official authority responsible for the tourism sector in the Kingdom.
1- Cabinet Resolution No. (9) of 12/1/1421 AH issued, which established the establishment of the “Supreme Commission for Tourism” as confirmation of the adoption of tourism as a major productive sector in the country, especially with regard to attracting the Saudi citizen to domestic tourism, increasing investment opportunities and developing National human capabilities, development and creation of new job opportunities for the Saudi citizen.
2- Because antiquities are an important and major component of tourism in any country in the world, Royal Decree No. A / 2 was issued in 28/2/1424 AH to include the "Antiquities Agency" to the "Supreme Commission for Tourism", so that the authority is responsible for everything related to Antiquities sector, in addition to its responsibility for the tourism sector.
3- On 16/3/1429 AH, Cabinet Resolution No. 78 was issued to change the name of the “Supreme Commission for Tourism” to become its new name “the General Authority for Tourism and Antiquities”, confirming that the tourism sector in the Kingdom has become a national reality behind the state, and requires the responsible authorities Planning to develop and develop it, based on many of the distinctive tourism ingredients that the Kingdom enjoys, some of which are as follows:
- The tremendous archaeological treasures, rare historical sites, and antique museums that belong to multiple eras and civilizations over time, which are replete with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in all its regions.
- The Kingdom's distinguished geographical location, with its vast area, and its varied terrain, with a varied climate and stunning views.
The extended beaches that characterize the Kingdom, whether on the Red Sea, or the Arabian Gulf, and the diversity and difference between them that attracts tourists.
- The unique cultural heritage, customs and traditions of the Saudi people, and the generosity and hospitality that characterizes it.
The sprawling infrastructure, high-end modern services, and the country's original orientation towards developing the tourism sector.
- The political and security stability, economic prosperity, and societal development enjoyed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
4- On Monday 12 Ramadan 1436 corresponding to June 29, 2015, the Council of Ministers decided to approve the amendment of the name of the General Authority for Tourism and Antiquities to (the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage).
5- On the first of Rajab 1441 AH corresponding to February 25, 2020 AD, a royal order was issued to transfer the name of the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage to the Ministry of Tourism.
Goals and aspirations
The goal of establishing the Ministry of Tourism, from the first moment, was to take care of the tourism sector in all its aspects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by organizing, developing and promoting it. The Ministry also works and is always looking to enhance the role of the tourism sector and overcome obstacles to its growth based on enormous factors and ingredients enjoyed by the Kingdom.
The Ministry of Tourism seeks to match the role and growth of the tourism sector with the position, values and role of the Kingdom in human civilization and its impact on the international community, as an important tributary of the tributaries of the national economy.