Saudi’s TDF, Riyad Bank unveils ‘Tourism Partners’ to develop 113 projects

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
  • Follow author on
Saudi Arabia Tourism
Representational Image

The Tourism Development Fund (TDF) of Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with Riyad Bank, launched the “Tourism Partners” program, allocating up to $530 million in funding to support the development of the Kingdom’s main tourist destinations.

The program is a first of its kind, as it brings together the public and private sectors to collaborate against individual performance indicators on each side, ensuring the highest levels of governance to meet the program’s goals.

TDF launched three products as part of the initiative, all of which are aimed at addressing the financing needs of private-sector companies of all sizes and enabling the growth of tourism facilities and activities in the Kingdom’s main destinations.

Each product provides funding for mega projects ranging from $0.26 million to more than $26.6 million, with options varying from direct support from TDF to co-financing with Riyad Bank, as well as guarantees of up to 90 percent.

“Tourism Partners” complements the “Shareek” initiative launched by the Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman, which aims to strengthen the private sector’s role in the country’s long-term economic development.

Mr. H.E. Qusai Al-Fakhri Image
H.E. Qusai Al-Fakhri

“An attractive investment environment enhances investors’ appetite for tourism projects, which in turn helps drive the tourism sector. TDF’s primary role as the tourism investor’s partner is to provide financing solutions that overcome barriers to mobilize investments and help investors achieve their goals. Through this partnership, TDF paves the way for private companies, including small and medium-sized companies, to harness the massive opportunities in tourism.”

Program goals

As part of the program, the two companies have set clear goals that will be met by 2021 with the help of more than 150 staff from both sides. The program will encourage the creation of up to 113 tourism projects in three categories across the Kingdom, each focusing on one of the seven destinations listed in the National Tourism Strategy.

Mr. Tareq A. Al-Sadhan, Chief Executive Officer Riyad Bank added that “Riyad Bank is proud to be the first partner with TDF under the framework of this program, which reflects our commitment to supporting the economic development of the Kingdom. The “Tourism Partners” program aims to further strengthen the Kingdom’s position as an investment and business hub, improving the Kingdom’s position on global ease of doing business rankings.”

Riyad Bank’s Relationship Managers will promote the “Tourism Partners” initiative to the bank’s client base to draw the most private-sector investment into value-added tourism projects.

The Tourism Development Fund was formed to support the growth of the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia, by the National Tourism Strategy, and to increase the tourism sector’s GDP contribution from 3 percent to 10 percent, as well as to create 1 million new jobs by 2030.

Related: UNWTO, IATA launch Destination Tracker to drive tourism recovery