Saudi Arabia has joined WTM London 2021, bringing together key partners and cementing its presence at the most iconic event in the annual tourism calendar.
Despite the challenge of the pandemic, Saudi’s tourism sector has witnessed strong growth over the past eighteen months.
Domestic tourism in the country saw a 96 per cent increase in domestic travel following extensive investment, the development of new tourism offers and the attraction of new destination management companies to the market.
As international travel begins to recover, Saudi has a rate of Covid-19 infection far below the global average and a nationwide vaccine program that has seen more than 60 per cent of the population fully immunised.
As the country rolls out a comprehensive program of lifestyle and entertainment events, the focus is now on inspiring and engaging international trade partners.
Saudi’s interactive pavilion at WTM captures the imagination of event attendees and travel trade professionals by immersing them in the scents, sights and sounds of Saudi.
The pavilion showcases the country’s top tourist destinations, from the pristine coastline of the Red Sea to the breath-taking heritage sites of Alula and Diriyah.
And it delights visitors through performing arts and unique Saudi fashions.
Ahmed Al Khateeb, minister of tourism, said: “The pandemic brought into sharp relief the global importance of the tourism sector and the imperative for international collaboration at every level to drive the redesign of tourism for the future.
“Saudi’s presence at one of the biggest global travel events is a strong statement of our commitment to directly engage and inspire the global tourism sector as we emerge from the constraints of the pandemic.
“Tourism relies heavily on cross-border and industry collaboration and WTM is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet like-minded partners to find collaborative solutions to global challenges.”
As confidence in international travel slowly rises, global travel events will be significant in engaging trade partners to not only help them grow their business but to drive visitation to Saudi.
Fahd Hamidaddin, chief executive of Saudi Tourism Authority, said: “Saudi is taking its place on the global tourism stage, driving efforts to meet the demands of global travellers as we continue to open our arms and open our hearts to the world.
“Travellers want two very simple things from destinations post-Covid-19 – personal safety and ease of access.
“Saudi is ideally placed to offer visitors the reassurances they need as they seek new tourism experiences after the lockdown.”