The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) launched three travel and tourism associations on the sidelines of its recently concluded annual staff meeting here. The associations were launched jointly by Prince Sultan bin Salman, SCTA president and Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, minister of commerce and industry. During the meeting SCTA also announced the names of members of the board of directors of the three aforesaid associations namely the Saudi Accommodation Association, Saudi Tourist Guide Association and Saudi Travel and Tourism Association, whose establishment was approved by the Council of Ministers on May 26, 2014, the media said on Thursday. In his comments, Prince Sultan: “The establishment of these associations reflects the culmination of the decisions passed by the national economy and the private sectors which marks an important phase of cooperation and partnership between the public and private sectors.” Remarking on the monitoring role of the associations the prince said: “These associations will be helpful in monitoring the tourism activities and will also be very useful in the development work to achieve our objectives.” Speaking on the occasion Al-Rabiah hailed the tremendous efforts of SCTA in the foundation of these associations. He asserted that this is a new experience in the domestic economy and will have significant outcomes for the support of the tourism sector. Prince Abdullah bin Saud, chairman of travel and tourism association, also commended SCTA’s initiative in the establishment of professional tourism associations saying, “The inauguration of the three associations has come within the framework of partnerships adopted by SCTA with the members of the local communities and the public and private organizations.” “Undoubtedly, the establishment of these associations will contribute to the implementation of many of the future projects that are expected to enhance tourism activity across the Kingdom through the utilization of SCTA’s potentials in the form of its technical support and professional advisory for the promotion and performance of these associations,” he added. He further underscored that these associations are expected to attain great success because they have been established in conjunction with the issuance of a set of resolutions which aim to support national tourism. These resolutions are eventually crowned by the approval of the King Abdullah Project for Preservation of the Kingdom’s Cultural Heritage, which constitutes an umbrella for the promotion of national heritage and investment in various tourism and heritage sites in the Kingdom.