Written by Linda Hohnholz, eTN editor
Dominates presence with its largest ever pavilion and brings 40+ destination partners to leading global travel trade event.
Saudi opens World Travel Market (WTM) London for the second consecutive year as Premier Partner. Hosting its largest pavilion at an international event, Saudi has developed interactive on-stand experiences to immerse and inspire visitors across every touchpoint, on a journey of the country through the senses.
Incredible visuals showcase the breadth and depth of Saudi’s extraordinary destination offering, bringing the authentic home of Arabia to life.
Visitors will feel for themselves the unparalleled hospitality for which the country is known with an opportunity to experience a rich part of the country’s culture, through a celebration of the Year of Saudi Coffee at the Saudi Café. Event attendees will feel the beat of the Saudi spirit through traditional and modern music and dance and be able to journey through the traditions of Saudi’s diverse regions with unique activations ranging from the flower crowns of Soudah to the sadu weaving from Diriyah.
Global partners continue to find untapped opportunity and potential in Saudi and have joined Saudi on its journey to create the world’s most exciting leisure tourism destination. At WTM, Saudi welcomes a record of more than 40 destination partners highlighting a wide range of Saudi tourism products, creating access to experiences, packages, hotels, and cruises for trade partners. On stage, senior leaders from the Saudi delegation will take part in high-profile discussions focused on the future of travel, sustainability and innovation through technology in a global context.
Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Member of the Board of Saudi Tourism Authority, said:
“In Saudi, we dream big, and we deliver bigger and today, we are creating the newest and most exciting destination on Earth, for tomorrow.”
“This year’s WTM is our biggest presence at an international event to date, bringing the best of our dynamic tourism offering to showcase the hospitality, diversity, beauty, and energy of the authentic home of Arabia.”
“The UK is one of our most important source markets, with more than 150,000 visits this year. We are inspiring, empowering and enabling future partners to add Saudi to their portfolios, and our partners continue to realize our value and untapped potential.”
Since last year’s WTM, Saudi has emerged as the fastest growing tourism destination in the G20 and is one of the world’s fastest-growing tourism markets. Saudi’s exponential sector growth has seen an extraordinary +121% increase from pre-pandemic international tourism levels as recognized by the UNWTO, outpacing global tourism sector recovery.
Saudi’s $800bn USD investment commitment across the tourism sector is driving outcomes and progress. Saudi is the world’s biggest investor in tourism, innovating to create new products and destinations, and building demand with the expansion of its global trade network. By developing strategic, long-term relationships with key partners across all business segments, Saudi is driving awareness of the world’s most exciting destination and unlocking priority source markets.
“We’ve invested in the fundamentals for a new future of tourism and our success story through the numbers tells itself. We are innovating to create new products and destinations and with our partners, we are building demand and expanding our global trade network,” continued Hamidaddin.
As part of ongoing efforts to engage, enable and inspire international trade partners, Saudi launches the Saudi Expert e-learning platform at WTM, a tool designed to power the partner learning journey through training materials, a learning dashboard and smooth technology integration to ensure a seamless trade experience.
Saudi is reimagining tourism to welcome 100m visitors by 2030. Last year, Saudi welcomed 62 million visitors, and is on track to welcome 70 million in 2022. Driving forward ambitious tourism goals, Saudi aims to increase international air connectivity from 99 to 250+ destinations by 2030. SAUDIA, the national carrier, has launched six new international routes this year. Through exceptional partnerships, Saudi is creating increased travel options and competitiveness to expand consumer choice and drive down costs. With Saudi’s extension of eVisa regulations, it is now easier than ever to visit Saudi.
Saudi is an under-discovered destination with rich cultural traditions. In Jeddah, visitors can explore Jeddah’s historical district, Al Balad and the traditional Hijazi style houses or go diving in one of the top diving and snorkeling destinations in the Red Sea. Explore Diriyah, the birthplace of Saudi, and visit Bujairi Terrace to experience luxury shopping and fine dining. This season, winter activities offer a dynamic program of entertainment at MDLBeast, Red Sea Film Festival, Riyadh Season and Winter at Tantora in AlUla – a UNESCO world heritage site.
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