Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector hopes to employ 1.7 million people by 2020, an official said.

To date, the sector has provided more than 1.3 million jobs to young Saudi nationals, said Princess Noura Al Saud, who represents the National Centre for Human Resources in the Tourism Sector.

But it wants to hire more people over the coming years in line with the kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy, according to Saudi Gazette.

Princess Noura reportedly told a forum on women’s empowerment and integration in Saudi Arabia that tourism sector can play a vital role in providing job opportunities for young Saudis.

However, the sector lacks skilled manpower and adequate facilities, she warned. At present, small-to-medium-enterprises (SMEs) employ 50 percent of people in the sector.

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However, she said her organisation had held 110,000 workshops, providing skills training to 700 people, according to the newspaper.

Globally, women constitute 46 percent of the tourism sector workforce, and Saudi Arabia must develop the sector to meet demand.