By Courtney Trenwith
A lack of accommodation has seen Saudis open unlicensed resorts, apartments, says the chairman of the national tourism committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers
Most suites and furnished apartments available for tourists in Saudi Arabia do not meet industry standards, one of the kingdom’s tourism bosses has reportedly said.
Mohammad Al Mejel, chairman of the national tourism committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers, claimed only about 40 percent of apartments available for short-term lease were licensed by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), with many others converted from former homes to take advantage of the lack of supply.
“This sector must be reorganised and unqualified accommodations should be banned from practicing their activities and should be replaced with other units that are specifically built for the purpose,” he was quoted by Saudi Gazette as saying.
Al Mejel said the non-licensed accommodations were pushing down room rates despite their lower standards.
He said there also were unlicensed resorts operating in the kingdom.
“Motels are not common in the kingdom, mostly because Saudis do not tend to appreciate dealing with motels, but would rather continue their trip without stopping,” he said.