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Domestic tourism shows how “Al-Lakhsaa” looks like on the shores of Asir

Domestic tourism is supposed to compose the largest and most unaddressed proportion of the tourism ‘iceberg’, but has been overshadowed by the interest in international tourism on behalf of academics and policy makers.

 Unlike international tourism which depends greatly on global systems and mega-infrastructure, domestic tourism deems to have evolved and sustained itself in the absence of heavy investments and commercialization. It has also been suggested as an appropriate substitute to international tourism under the influence of external factors such as disasters and crises.

The focus on domestic tourism is important in Saudi Arabia as the country is one of the biggest exporters of tourists going out of the kingdom, and the government is trying to retain a larger portion of tourism spending of its local tourists in the national tourism industry.

 In view of this, this paper attempts to discuss the potentials and challenges of developing domestic tourism in the Asir region, which is situated in the southwestern part of Saudi Arabia. The analysis is based on secondary data and supported by interviews with twelve tourism operators and hoteliers in the region.

The findings revealed that Asir region is a unique tourist destination and has considerable unrealized potential; however, the growth of domestic tourism requires diversification in terms of product, market and geographical areas.

As tourism development is a comprehensive undertaking involving many sectors and stakeholders, it is crucial for the government to come up with multi-hierarchical, all-inclusive and coordinated development strategy, and these are the challenges to which the country’s tourism industry should respond to promote domestic tourism.

A Saudi city that brought together the desert and the sea, turning its coasts into an open marine park, in a moderate and attractive atmosphere that tends to be cold sometimes, which increases the demand of tourists and hikers during these days.

The “Al-Khasaa” area is one of the marine parks of Asir region – northwestern Saudi Arabia – which is located 10 km south of the center of Al-Qahma, which is intended for visitors from all over Asir, in contrast to the presence of a number of picnic places in Al-Qahma, the most important of which is the Al-Qahma Corniche, which is located inside the country With boats for picnic inside the sea and enjoy watching the sea in the morning and evening hours.

Al-Qahma swimming pool is referred to as “Al-Khasa’a”, and it is located outside the urban area of ​​Al-Qahma, about 4 kilometers. Al-Qahma is characterized by its beautiful beach and wonderful waves, and it is the favorite place for many to rest, relax and camp on the sea. Walking on the sand, and enjoying watching the moonlight and the wonderful stars.

Photographer Ali Al-Marwi documented those wonderful scenes on the coast of Al-Khasaa, and spoke to Arabic.net that the region is very crowded during the holidays and holidays, due to the calm and moonlight that increases the situation in Al-Lhasa’a with Al-Qahma, beauty with the wonderful waves.

He said, “The seashore is one of the oldest fishing boat harbors in the region, and its location adjacent to Kednebel Island increases the beauty of its coastline with beautiful sand and beaches suitable for swimming.”

As tourism development is a comprehensive undertaking involving many sectors and stakeholders, it is crucial for the government to come up with multi-hierarchical, all-inclusive and coordinated development strategy, and these are the challenges to which the country’s tourism industry should respond to promote domestic tourism.