On Saturday, May 28, His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President of the SCTA met with a delegation which will leave Riyadh on a visit to Greece, in order to explore its experience in the field of urban heritage. The meeting was also attended by His Excellency Demetrios Letsios, Greek Ambassador to the Kingdom, in the Organization’s headquarters in Riyadh.
SCTA used to organize exploratory visits comprising of a number of prominent government officials, including governors, secretaries and heads of municipalities in the provinces of the Kingdom, to allow them to closely view the international experiences in the field of urban heritage.
His Royal Highness the President of SCTA in his speech at the meeting welcomed the participation of members of the delegation in the 6th exploratory visit within the SCTA’s awareness program on international expertise in the field of urban heritage.
The Commission is keen to continue this program in light of the concrete results achieved through the contribution of public officials in preserving the urban heritage, as well as their efforts to adopt many of the programs and projects for the development and rehabilitation of urban heritage in the Kingdom.
His Royal Highness said: “The Commission has seen that theory books and lectures do not lead to desired results, therefore, we used to organize these visits that would replace the theory with live and practical experience through exploring the leading international experiences in order to benefit from them in the implementation urban heritage programs in Saudi Arabia.”
His Royal Highness further added, “We are looking forward to implement urban heritage projects in the heritage towns and villages, in addition to other heritage projects in a sound manner in order to revive the urban heritage locations in which the citizen can breathe his national heritage and history while being inspired from the contribution of his ancestors in the unification of the homeland.”
“Today, we are seeking to fill the gap between the new generations and their national heritage, and promote citizen’s belongingness to this heritage, as well as to transform the heritage sites into a renewable economic product.” He added.
HRH addressing the members of the delegation, said: “Your mission is a national mission; you are going on this thick schedule to explore useful experiences in order to learn and benefit from the preservation of urban heritage sites as well as recovering a history that is about to disappear. Before you is a national responsibility to make a huge shift in the urban heritage throughout your provinces and to make it an integral part of citizen’s life and attention. Also before you is an economic mission to recover heritage sites by transforming them into a national wealth as well as economic investment that will generate job opportunities to the citizens, especially that the tourism sector is one of the most important economic sectors that creates jobs matching different age and educational levels and reach many geographic locations.”
HRH added: “We rely heavily on tourism excellence in the creation of employment opportunities at the local level, which is a fundamental pillar in countries like the United States of America, which caters to local employment, affecting the employment rates at the national level.”
Previous visits had important results in raising the awareness among prominent government officials on the importance of preserving the urban heritage as well as economically investing it in tourism. SCTA through its past visits has touched the potential of urban heritage preservation and benefit economically when required regulations are secured in this respect.
HRH, at the end of his speech expressed his appreciations to His Excellency the Ambassador of Greece to the Kingdom for attending the meeting and the cooperation of Greece Embassy in this trip. HRH also expressed his thanks to the members of the trip, hopping that their participation will achieve the desired results