5-speed listening (Saudi Arabia - Level 2)

Saudi Arabia opens up to tourism






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Saudi Arabia is a new destination on the world tourism map. It has opened its doors to tourists from around the world. People from 49 different countries can get visas online. They take just seven minutes to issue. Saudi Arabia believes it has huge potential to develop into a top tourism destination. It has lots of natural attractions, deserts, World Heritage sites, beautiful beaches and unique cultures. Saudi Arabia wants to make sure it can get money from other industries, not just oil and gas. It hopes 10 per cent of the country's GDP will come from tourism by 2030.

Tourists can now stay in Saudi Arabia for a maximum of 90 days in one year. They can enter many times in that year. Non-Muslims will not be allowed to visit the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, explained the importance of tourism. It said: "Opening Saudi Arabia to international tourists is a historic moment for our country." It added that Saudi has a lot to offer: "Businesses from around the world will establish operations within the Kingdom as its unique attractions, culture and natural beauty become more widely [valued]."

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