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Saudi Arabia Opens Up to Visitors
According to this story from the Times Online the majority of the six million travelers who visit Saudi Arabia are Muslims making their pilgrimage to Mecca, but this past November that changed, when the first group cultural tour to the country in more than seven years took place, and come March, British Airways will resume service to Riyadh and Jeddah for the first time in nearly four years. The Office of the Supreme Commission on Tourism says that the country will begin issuing tourist visas in the near future, ushering in a new era of openness for Saudi Arabia.
And what does the country have to offer western travelers? For starters, the region is rich in history that dates back thousands of years, and there are remnants of past civilizations to visit and explore. The rich and diverse landscapes of the desert are also a draw to tourists, as is the unique culture that is unlike any that most westerners have experienced before.
Fixing those issues will take some time, and probably more exposure from the West. But it's a big step for Saudi Arabia to open up to the outside, and a wonderful opportunity for travelers to experience a place that they haven't had the opportunity to visit before.