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Tourism in Kuwait a vital, promising sector
December 4, 2017, 4:36 pm

Kuwait seeks to develop its tourism sector as an important economic resource based on its promising development plan (New Kuwait 2035), supported by its geographical location and driven by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's vision to transform the country into a commercial and financial center.

Kuwait is working to develop sustainable tourism and promoting investment in this vital sector, which is based on a number of strong foundations. When talking about tourism in Kuwait, entertainment and shopping pops out, with lots of places near the coastal area such Souq Al-Mubarakiya, Marina Mall and Scientific Center, as well as the Grand Mosque; the largest in Kuwait, and an array of restaurants and hotels along the coast.

The tourism sector in Kuwait started one year after the declaration of independence, where The Kuwait Hotels Company was established in 1962 and joined the World Tourism Organization the following year. Kuwait then accelerated the establishment of infrastructure for tourism projects, including Kuwait International Airport, advanced road networks, sports clubs, theaters, cinemas, parks and chalets.

In the 1970s, a clear interest in local tourism emerged, especially after the establishment of the Department of Tourism within the Ministry of Information, where it formed an annual committee for tourism that held events and entertaining programs for families, in addition to meetings, seminars, tournaments and various exhibitions in that period.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the country focused on enhancing the security and economic conditions, which led to a decrease in interest in tourism, until such interest reemerged in 2002 with the establishment of the tourism sector in the Ministry of Information.

Since the establishment of Touristic Enterprises Company in 1976, the company has been a strong supporter of this sector and responsible for tourist sites in the county.

The hotels sector in Kuwait has grown significantly with the establishment of a series of new projects that added value to existing hotels. In recent years, Kuwait has been keen to provide more support to the tourism sector as one of the economic sectors that provide jobs for national employment and its importance in promoting Kuwaiti identity. Kuwait relies on tourism as an investment in order to reduce unemployment rates, diversify sources of national income and reduce dependency on oil. 

Kuwait's long-term tourism growth strategy has been buoyed by the number of passengers flying through the airport to more than 10 million passengers a year, in line with the country's plans to develop and expand its transport infrastructure.

These plans include the expansion of Kuwait International Airport (Terminal 2) to increase the capacity of the airport to accommodate 25 million passengers, as well as other projects, such as the Kuwait Expressway and the railway network, all of which are included in the Kuwait 2035 plan. Based on these data, the World Tourism Organization confirmed in 2015 that Kuwait is very ready to be an important tourist destination in the region because of the fundamentals that are suitable for the establishment of sustainable tourism.

The organization expected that Kuwait would achieve an advanced position in the region in the coming years due to the list of activities and tourism services that it owns, including hotels, restaurants, transportation, leisure facilities, economic, medical and scientific centers.

According to government estimates, the tourism sector is expected to provide more than 90,000 jobs for young people until 2035. The total contribution to tourism in the short-term GDP will be about two percent, with the possibility of raising it to four percent through developing the sector that will attract foreign investment. 

Source: KUNA

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