Saudi Arabia taps key markets

With ‘Journeys in Arabia’ webinar, an exclusive online event, Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) made its first-ever travel trade engagement with partners from key source markets around the globe.

The inspiration behind the virtual event was to create multiple touchpoints of engagement with international travel trade, especially from the Middle East, China, UK, India, Germany and Russia, Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO, STA, told TTN in a post-show interview.

“As a destination, we have a unique opportunity. An opportunity to position and raise awareness about Saudi as the authentic home of Arabia. A destination of unparalleled hospitality, offering experiences and insights into the rich cultural history of the country.

“The goal of ‘Journeys in Arabia’ is to bring these highlights, stories, products and experiences into the hearts and minds of our trade partners. We initiated different engagements including exclusive roundtables, exclusive webinars and immersive roadshows, to engage, inform and inspire our audience about the diverse tourism offering of the Kingdom.”

“We brought together the best of the industry in Saudi to showcase the best of what the destination has to offer”
– Fahd Hamidaddin

‘Journeys in Arabia’ focused specifically on six markets: the Middle East, China, UK, India, Germany and Russia. These markets are part of a broader strategy in which 15 priority source markets spanning the GCC region, Asia, North America and Europe have been identified to drive growth and visitation to Saudi. “We are seeking adventurers, cultural explorers, nature-lovers, travellers from around the world who are searching for new, unexpected experiences, willing to discover one of the final frontiers in leisure tourism.”

For the Middle East roadshow, the primary goal was to build strategic links with the travel trade industry in key source markets across the region – the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt and Jordan, Hamidaddin tells TTN.

“Partnerships are critical to our success. The growth opportunities for Saudi and for our partners around the globe in this new world of tourism are endless. As we continue to develop the Saudi brand, we are working close collaboration with our partners to create new, innovative ways of working together.

“We brought together the best of the industry in Saudi to showcase the best of what the destination has to offer.”

Top representatives from AlUla, NEOM and Diriyah shared their vision and ambitions for the future and the opportunity for partners while the hospitality sector’s big players were also in attendance, with representation from leading hotel brands including IHG Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Habitas AlUla Resort, and Shada Hospitality. A number of key stakeholders from the Ministry of Investment and national flag carrier Saudia Airlines also participated in the discussions.