Sunday, July 3, 2022
HomeTravel11 MOUs in three days, Saudi launches aggressive tourism campaign for India...

11 MOUs in three days, Saudi launches aggressive tourism campaign for India market, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld


11 MOUs in three days, Saudi launches aggressive tourism campaign for India marketWith an eye on clocking 1,000 million visits from across the globe by 2030, Saudi Arabia has launched an aggressive campaign for the Indian market as part of its larger strategy. Unlocking their campaign for the Indian market, Saudi Arabia Tourism has signed as many as 11 MoUs with different trade partners including tour operators, DMCs agencies, and associations in India in the last few days.

“India is one of our top source markets. And we are looking forward to forming a close working relationship with the trade as well the consumers in India in order to raise awareness about Saudi Arabia and the different offerings from our country,” said Alhasan Aldabbagh, Chief Marketing Officer – APAC, Saudi Tourism Authority, who is in India to participate in a trade event.

The authority is also in the process of launching the visas for leisure with a suitable partner and is actively promoting tourism partnerships between the two countries. Specific packages are being rolled out to promote leisure tourism – some to be combined with the existing religious packages for people going for Umrah to Makkah and Madinah.

“We have great offerings for people looking for cultural experiences, as well as for those looking at adventure and sports. In the near future, we plan to introduce a good mix of products that add to the existing Sun and beach attractions,” he said.

Themed as Umra Plus, Saudi is now inviting visitors to extend their stay and experience different parts of the country. These destinations include AlUla, Jeddah, and Riyadh, among others. “We have something called the Riyadh season, which is one of the largest festivals in the world and attracts great footfall. A lot of concerts and cultural events are held during this time in different parts of the city,” he shared.

The country recently unlocked some more UNESCO world heritage sites, adding to its existing tourist attractions. “We have six UNESCO world heritage sites and over 10,000 archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia,” said Aldabbagh, “Some of these sites just have recently been unlocked, so the visitors can come and learn about the rich history that we have inside each of these sites,” he shared.

Attending key tourism fairs and exhibitions, the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) will make its debut at the 29th edition of South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) 2022, the country’s leading travel and tourism trade exhibition from 18-20 May, 2022. Visitors can engage in one-on-one meetings with the attending delegation to learn more about the world’s biggest new destination.

These sites include the Hima Cultural Area, Hegra in AlUla, Al Turaif in Diriyah, Al Ahsa Oasis, Historical Jeddah, and Rock Art in the Al Hail region. “For instance, Hegra, which sits deep in the desert of Saudi Arabia’s north-western Al-‘Ula region, is home to the ancient tombs of the lost civilisation of the Nabatean tribes who settled the area in the 1st century AD,” he said.Apart from leisure travellers, Saudi is also eyeing the wedding market. “We are aware how Indians like destination weddings and would like to bring some of these weddings to Saudi Arabia. We have a few destinations that we think are just perfect for that,” said Aldabbagh.

For a country that was among the first few in the world to put stringent measures in place, including shutting its borders to the tourists, as the pandemic struck, Saudi Arabia has done pretty well to recover vis-a-vis the tourism sector. “We’ve reached 72 per cent of the Pre-Covid stage. In 2021, our total visits were 62 million visits, including domestic visits. For 2022, we are looking at over 70 million visits, and a lot of these would be international business coming to Saudi. Our target for 2030 is 100 million visits. So we’re very ambitious, and this is why we are very keen on participating in events in other countries,” Aldabbagh said.

Air connectivity between the two countries is an extremely important factor. Currently, there exists a bilateral agreement for 28,000 seat seats between India and Saudi Arabia – split into half between direct and indirect flights. “Apart from our national carriers Saudi, Flynas and Flyadeal, there is Air India, Indigo SpiceJet and Air India Express flying between the two countries. We are now working together to increase the slots between Saudi Arabia and India,” he said.

In terms of budgets, the country has earmarked over $800 billion to be invested in the tourism ecosystem over the next eight years up to 2030. This includes infrastructure as well. The country recently appointed Messi as their new Tourism Ambassador and is said to be in the advanced stages of finalising an Indian celebrity for the same purpose. “We are working closely with Bollywood to create some PR activities in India and Saudi. And, we want to bring some of the high profile cricket matches to Saudi Arabia to generate the buzz,” Aldabbagh shared.





Source link

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

spot_img
spot_img

Most Popular

Recent Comments