Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Participants attend the launch of the new tourism visa in Ad Diriyah, a Unesco-listed heritage site, outside Riyadh on September 27, 2019. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

The Saudi government on Friday announced details of a new tourist visa program that will allow foreigners to visit the Gulf kingdom for up to 90 days at a time, the Financial Times reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time that Saudi Arabia will allow foreigners to visit for the sole purpose of tourism and comes amid a broader push to reduce the country's reliance on oil money, NBC News notes. Visas were previously limited mostly to business travelers and the millions of Muslim worshippers who make the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca each year.

The big picture: The effort to open the kingdom's doors has been spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who wants tourism to account for 10% of the economy by 2030 — up from 3% right now.

  • MBS views the neighboring United Arab Emirates as a model for success, but continues to grapple with the fallout from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year — which the U.S. intelligence community believes he ordered — and other negative perceptions of the country's human rights record.
  • Saudi tourism officials dismiss those challenges, with one telling the FT: "We have not witnessed any specific slow down since [the death of Khashoggi]. Our partners have been with us and continue to be with us, and we would work to engage them more."
  • Ahmad al-Khateeb, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, tells NBC News: "It will change the perception, they have to come and see us, they have to come and see the Saudis and live in Saudi Arabia and experience Saudi Arabia."

Go deeper: Pompeo doubles down on claim of Iranian "act of war" in Saudi Arabia

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.