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Saudi Mountains, Crimean Beaches Beckon for Covid Staycations

Countries around the world are hoping to recoup some of their tourism losses by enticing people to spend money at home.

Visitors queue for entry at an access point to Nova Icaria beach in Barcelona, on June 28.

Visitors queue for entry at an access point to Nova Icaria beach in Barcelona, on June 28.

Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

When the pandemic hobbled Saudi Arabia’s plans to become a global tourism hub just months after opening its borders for the first time, officials looked for the bright side.

There won’t be any foreign vacationers sunning on the kingdom’s beaches this summer. But there’s a new market to woo: Saudis trapped at home. Along with countries around the world that are trying to recoup some of their tourism losses through domestic travel, the government leaned into the disruption, stoking patriotic sentiment with calls for a “Saudi summer.”