The MOU was signed by Trip.com Group’s Chief Executive Officer Jane Sun and Mr Fahd Hamidaddin, Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Tourism Authority, in Beijing, China.
As part of the collaboration, both parties will launch a series of joint marketing campaigns in several markets to drive awareness and attract tourists to the Kingdom, through global platforms, such as Trip.com, Ctrip, and Travix. These markets include Australia, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and the United Kingdom, among others.
In addition, both parties will also embark on several capacity building and knowledge sharing initiatives in various aspects, including digital payment solutions, sustainability, ticketing and training.
Mr Fahd Hamidaddin, commented at the MOU signing ceremony, “We are delighted to join hands with Trip.com Group to promote Saudi Arabian tourism across global markets. With Trip.com Group’s market capability and advanced technology, I believe the partnership will encourage and entice more visitors worldwide to Saudi Arabia, and further enhance recovery in the global tourism sector.”
Ms Sun said, “We are excited to embark on this collaboration which will strengthen the tourism sector. Demand for international travel continues to grow, and the signing of this strategic MOU comes at an opportune time for both parties. Trip.com Group will leverage its marketing capabilities to showcase and promote the beauty and diverse range of experiences in Saudi Arabia, and strengthen the Kingdom’s positioning as a destination of choice.”
Trip.com Group also hosted Mr Fahd Hamidaddin and his colleagues at its premises in Shanghai, China on Friday, 24 March. The delegation was warmly welcomed by Ms Sun and other senior officials including Schubert Lou, Chief Operating Officer of Trip.com, and Amanda Wang, Vice President, Global Destinations of Trip.com Group.
During the visit, Ms Sun and her team shared with the delegation Trip.com Group’s history, key focus areas including technology, and corporate social responsibility efforts, among other topics. During the discussion, both sides also pledged to strengthen areas of cooperation, including knowledge transfer, technological innovation, capacity building and job creation, while exploring partnerships in common fields such as ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance).
Data from Trip.com Group’s platforms showed keen interest in travel to Saudi Arabia in recent months. On Trip.com, from January to March 2023, the number of users searching for Saudi Arabian travel products almost doubled compared to January to March 2022. Flight bookings to Saudi have also seen a significant increase.
This MOU marks the latest partnership between Trip.com Group and Saudi Arabia, which had previously collaborated on the establishment of the country’s Flagship Store on the Group’s Chinese platform Ctrip, and the various programmes to excite and inspire travellers to visit Saudi Arabia in the leadup to the FIFA World Cup 2022 competition.