Saudi Arabia will invest 50 billion riyals ($13.33bn) in projects to improve the kingdom’s Asir region, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced on Tuesday.
The mountainous region has long drawn Saudi visitors eager to cool down during the hot summer months, but the government is keen to turn the area into a year-round destination, state news agency SPA reported.
The Asir National Park is home to more than 300 species of bird and has 60 campsites for visitors to enjoy.
Prince Mohammed said the new strategy seeks to make the improvements by 2030, creating a destination catering to more than 10 million visitors from inside and outside the kingdom.
Visitors will be further accommodated by improvements to the region's main airport, Abha International.
The natural assets of the region, including, coastline and desert as well as peaks, will underpin the tourism projects, as will the area’s cultural heritage. The region hosts more than 651 archaeological sites registered in the National Antiquities Register, and contains stones, inscriptions and drawings dating back to pre-Islamic times.
It will also create employment opportunities and other benefits for residents, he said.
Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz, Chairman of the Aseer Development Authority, thanked Prince Mohammed for “his constant support and deep interest in the Asir region and its people”, SPA said.