Management Innovation and the Economy of Tourism and Culture

Management Innovation and the Economy of Tourism and Culture




Management Innovation and the Economy of Tourism and Culture

The 59-year-old Prince Sultan bin Salman bin AbdulAziz Al Saud is the second son of the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and currently holds the position of President and Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH). He has held this position for 8 years now and was previously the Commission’s Secretary. The father of three and Master’s Degree holder is also a qualified pilot in three countries having logged more than 7000 flight hours since he started flying in 1976 (Reed, 2013). The Prince holds a Guinness World Record for being the first Saudi, Muslim, Royalty, and youngest man to go to outer space on the 7-day 1985 Arab Sat expedition as a payload specialist at the age of 28 (Guinness World Records Limited, 2015). The Prince is also a retired soldier having served his country for 11 years retiring in 1996 with the rank of full Colonel. The charismatic prince is also a philanthropist and dedicates a lot of his time and resources to several causes, with education and the disabled being especially close to his heart.

The tourism of the oil dependent gulf country has flourished under the leadership and entrepreneurial spirit of Prince Sultan bin Salman bin AbdulAziz through the his culture of developing radical but practical transformation and enhancement programs that he has spearheaded through his creativity and imagination (Kariv, 2011). The Prince has been instrumental in planning and creating change that has placed the tourism sector of Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map and increased the number of visitors and effectively the countries tourism revenues. The SCTNH has significantly increased the capacity of the tourist facilities by creating strong policies and initiatives that have boosted investor attraction leading to more investments in the sector and adequately responding to growing demand on hospitality. These decisions have been based on the market segmentation information gathered through intensive research and development into the global tourism demands under.

This has resulted in the development of progressive and sustainable programs that have made the Saudi tourism sector a major contributor to the nation’s GDP. They have also significantly influenced the global demand for Saudi Arabia as a preferred tourist destination by diversifying the number of attractions available and driving legislative change to allow visitors more time to enjoy the country’s attractions and not just the previous religious attractions (Zamani-Farahani and Henderson, 2010). The SCTNH’s efforts have also resulted in the government planning massive infrastructure expansion programs that will see the introduction of more airlines into the Saudi market. This is aimed at driving up destination demand through reduction of fares from the increased competition. This will also increase the quality of services available and benefit the local tourism industry through the importation of skills and knowledge and enhancing its global status. This has resulted in the attraction of significant international investors that has driven up development of facilities and significantly increased the country’s tourism carrying capacity.

The Prince’s radical steps of horizontal scaling of resources have resulted in the creation of more new and more profitable opportunities that ensure a vibrant and profitable future for the Saudi tourism industry. By focusing on the current clientele, the pilgrims, the Prince has modeled the tourism industry to harness their high earning potential from increased stay allowance periods. There has also been rampant creation of new markets like the innovative women’s only hotels that has increased investment in the hospitality industry by encouraging Saudi women participation.




Guinness World Records Limited,. (2015). Guinness world records 2016. Guinness World Records Limited.

Kariv, D. (2011). Entrepreneurship: An international introduction. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Reed, J. (2003). The Saudi royal family. Philadelphia, Pa: Chelsea House Publishers.

Zamani-Farahani, H., & Henderson, J. C. (January 01, 2010). Islamic tourism and managing tourism development in Islamic societies: the cases of Iran and Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Tourism Research, 12, 1, 79-89.

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