VisitBritain brews up new Saudi campaign, inks deal

VisitBritain CEO, Patricia Yates and Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Tourism Authority, sign on the dotted line

Britain’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain, is pulling out all the stops to attract more Saudi Arabian visitors. Their new campaign, “Spilling the Tea on GREAT Britain,” launched in Arabic across digital platforms on May 8.

The campaign aims to inspire Saudis to plan trips in 2024. It promotes VisitBritain’s new Arabic website and highlights the ease of obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for Saudi nationals.

Saudi Arabia is a significant market for British tourism. VisitBritain forecasts a 9 per cent increase in Saudi visitors this year (240,000) compared to 2019, with anticipated spending reaching £752 million (up 20 per cent).

An innovative augmented reality (AR) Snapchat lens featuring panoramic British landscapes further enhances the campaign’s reach and engagement.

This initiative coincides with VisitBritain leading a delegation to GREAT FUTURES, a major UK-Saudi trade expo in Riyadh (May 14-15). The expo kicks off a year-long program to boost business ties between the two nations.

VisitBritain CEO, Patricia Yates, said: “Visiting the UK is easier than ever for Saudi nationals with the roll-out of the Electronic Travel Authorisation Scheme, boosting our competitive tourism offer and our welcome to visitors. We are delighted to launch this new phase of our major brand campaign in Saudi Arabia in the run up to the GREAT FUTURES trade expo and beyond, showcasing the breadth of exciting tourism products, experiences and destinations across Britain.

“GREAT FUTURES is also a valuable opportunity to build on our wider engagement in Saudi Arabia, including our work with the travel trade to sell British destinations. We look forward to strengthening our longer-term relationships with Saudi trade partners, supporting us to drive growth from this important visitor market.”

In a move that promises to boost tourism for both nations, Britain’s VisitBritain and Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Authority signed a landmark agreement last month. The deal, formalised during the major trade expo GREAT FUTURES in Riyadh, will see the two countries collaborate on developing and promoting their tourism industries.