New Delhi: In line with Saudi’s Vision 2030 and to welcome more than 2 million Indian visitors this year, Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has strengthened its commitments to driving awareness about tourism and hospitality in its region. As part of the delegation visit to India earlier this month, this mission program featured a range of meetings, industry round-tables and networking events including participation at the One World Travel Market in Mumbai (OTM) and the South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) in Delhi. This was followed up with two roadshows in Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has also, commenced an official partnership with the world’s preeminent Twenty 20 cricket league, the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) at an event held in Mumbai last week.
India is a key source market for Saudi. As part of Saudi’s ambition to achieve 100 million visits annually by 2030, India represents immense potential as it is expected to be one of Saudi’s largest tourism source markets by then. During the course of these engagements, STA held 3,000 plus meetings with leading trade partners and travel buyers to promote Saudi as a holiday destination. They also shared insights around the growing trends of MICE tourism and budget travel.
On his recent visit to India, Alhasan Aldabbagh, APAC President at Saudi Tourism Authority, said, “We are delighted to showcase the beauty of Saudi and its diverse tourism offerings all across India. We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from our partners here and STA is committed to investing, learning and working closely with them to ensure our product offerings are attractive for the Indian market. These engagements are important in helping us achieve ambitious goals and drive visitation numbers from India to Saudi. Last year, we saw 1 million visitors, which has encouraged us to become ambitious about doubling the figures from this region this year. India, we believe, will be the number one tourism source market for us in 2030 as we aim to welcome more than 12 million visitors by then.”
“Saudi is a great holiday destination with rich cultural, historical and spiritual sites. It is home to 6 UNESCO world heritage sites and more than 10,000 archaeological sites that are unexplored and that we are waiting to be explored. This includes historical places like Al Balad in Jeddah and Turaif in Diriyah – the birthplace of Saudi.
We also offer a variety of tourism experiences such as the Boulevard World in Riyadh city, Bujairi Terrace home to over 20 retail and lifestyle brands including four Michelin-starred restaurants, Red Sea Project and much more. Apart from our tourism product offerings, we are also working on many exciting partnership and sponsorship opportunities like the IPL. We believe that the partnership with IPL is one of the first steps in strengthening a culture for the game of cricket in Saudi.” Alhasan Aldabbagh added.
Earlier this month we launched the 96-hour stopover visa with a 1-night complimentary hotel stay when you fly with Saudia, which makes Saudi more accessible than ever. The Stopover Visa is open to all leisure, business and religious travelers travelling on SAUDIA and flynas.
STA is also opening up 9 dedicated visa centers in India by the end of this month, to increase the accessibility and connectivity for Indian travelers to enter Saudi.
Saudi is a diverse destination. It boasts leisure and entertainment hubs, including the fastest F1 street circuit and is known to host the world’s largest dance music festival, among others.
Find out more about Saudi’s tourism offerings and visa programs on the Visit Saudi website.