SAUDI ARABIA SHOWCASES UNRIVALLED OPPORTUNITIES AND COMMITS TO STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS
21.11.2023 - 13:17
/ Ahmed Al-Khateeb
The Saudi tourism delegation returned to WTM with more than 75 Saudi partners including key DMOs, DMCs, hotels, tour operators, airlines, cruise companies and more – a 48% increase on last year and its largest-ever delegation – to share the latest developments and create new business opportunities for the Saudi tourism ecosystem.
This year, Saudi announced an all-new and first-of-its-kind two-year partnership with RX Global - following a formal signing at the closure of WTM London - which will see STA become the first-ever ‘Global Travel Partner’ of the WTM tradeshow events. The collaboration is scheduled to include new promotional activities to inspire visits to Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Pavilion, the biggest presence at the event, was opened by His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, Saudi Arabia, alongside Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Member of the Board, Saudi Tourism Authority on the first day.
Across the three-day event, thousands of attendees were welcomed to the Saudi pavilion to explore the diversity of Saudi’s growing destination.
Coinciding with WTM London was the 22nd annual Wanderlust Travel Awards. Saudi was awarded ‘Most Desirable Emerging Destination’ – as voted for by almost 90,000 readers – at the 22nd annual Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards held at the Natural History Museum on 7 November.
Facilitating new business opportunities to create shared value and unlock opportunities across the tourism value chain was front and center of Saudi’s WTM plans, with a dedicated investment hub run by the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Development Fund hosting meetings to inform potential partners about the benefits of investing in the Kingdom.
The on-stand Smart Tourism hub offered in-depth information for trade from open-source marketing material to a business directory, analytics and insights, and the opportunity to seamlessly register as trade partners using a QR code.
Throughout the event, Saudi signed 18 MoUs in total with world-leading organizations to help Saudi elevate its tourism offering and provide trade partners with unmatched opportunities, including with Tripadvisor, Mastercard, Dida Travel and Destinia.
Global tourism partners continue to unlock endless opportunities and potential in Saudi, with more than 2,580 bilateral trade meetings taking place on the Saudi stand this year.
It was a must-visit stand for WTM attendees who were welcomed by true Saudi hospitality and the warmth of Saudi people.
Saudi coffee was flowing as guests enjoyed Saudi cuisine and danced to the beat of Saudi drums. The immersive stand exhibited traditional Saudi crafts that have been passed through generations:
‘Flower Lady’ from Abha wove crowns with flowers brought from the Asir