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Tourism Stories: Khaled Al Took
My name is Khaled Al Took, and this is my story…
I am from middle class family. My father is retired from the military. I am the oldest son of five brothers and five sisters. I am 47 years old. I am married. I have two sons and one daughter.
I am from the south of Saudi Arabia, from the Aseer region – Dhahran Al Janub. I live now in Khamis Mushayt. I have been a freelance tour guide for more than 12 years all over Saudi Arabia (cultural, history, adventures), and recently I started a new business in camel back trips.
I established my own tour called WSL. We create adventure trips following the steps of ancient trade caravans. I am also a certified trainer from the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations. (WFTGA), and in coordination with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH), I train tour guides skills for new applicants for licenses.
I love working in tourism because of my desire to travel and discover.
In addition, I learned more about customs and traditions. This kind of work provides me with a source of income. Moreover, it has enabled me to practice my hobby of travelling, and keep in close contact with people from various nationalities and ages.
Seasonal changes pose the biggest obstacle to my work. There are long periods throughout the year that pass without demand for tourist guides services, and because this is my only source of income that is the only challenge.
Tourist guiding for my family and me has become a way of life. We have friends from all around the world, they visit our house and become close to our hearts. I can see the happiness in the eyes of my children when they meet guests from distant lands. I see the joy when they learn something new about other nations. My older son became eager to become a tour guide like me; now he joins me in many trips and we have something to share together as well as the rest of my family.
This business gives my family confidence in the future. And it makes us proud of our past.
Receiving tens of millions of tourists each year, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is best known for its attraction of visitors for the annual pilgrimage of the Hajj. Beyond the attraction of devoted pilgrims, Saudi Arabia also attracts travellers wishing to explore it ancient culture and sites, as well as the country’s vast Arabian landscapes. For the people of Saudi Arabia, their richness of land and spirit offer invaluable opportunity for turning ideas into meaningful livelihoods.