Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is turning to tourism as its ‘new white oil’ in an ambitious project dubbed Vision 2030. The move, which has the full support of the kingdom’s top most leadership, is part of on-going attempts to diversify the economy to ensure more economic and financial stability.
Diversification would perfectly suit Saudi Arabia’s fellow OPEC member countries such as the Republic of Congo, Angola and Gabon because; they sit strategic positions on the Atlantic coast – very viable for tourism yet not well exploited.
Evidently, relying on a natural resource as a sole-source of revenue is risky in this delicate global economy, with unreliable global markets. Case in point, to-date, Congo is still aching from the effects of the oil price crisis of 5 years ago.
In Southern Africa, Botswana understood the signs and is progressively weaning from sole reliance on diamond mining, with hopes to grow from middle to a high income economy.
Though Saudi Arabia’s image is tainted image on the international scene, for some investors, the sheers ambition and commitment from the kingdom’s top leadership is convincing enough.@ameliamartha1