According to HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, chairman of the board and secretary general of the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA), the new statute transforms the organisation from a coordinating agency to one that is responsible for re-structuring the strategic plan for tourism development in the kingdom.

As a result, Prince Sultan will report directly to King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.

This year, SCTA will absorb a number of sectors including antiquities, heritage sector and museums, as well as the hospitality sector.

Within the next three months the commission also plans to re-classify the hotel system, beginning with Mecca and Medina.