The Saudi pavilion at World Travel Market (WTM) London 2021 was alive with business deals and development announcements, evidence of international confidence in Saudi's fast-growing tourism sector.
Saudi brought together partners spanning the breadth of giga-projects, DMCs and tour operators. A stream of commercial agreements between the country's leading travel companies and international tourism partners, was a clear showcase of the compelling offering of one of the world's fastest-growing leisure travel destinations.
Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) announcements at the Saudi pavilion included:
Partnership with Trip.com, one of the leading online travel agencies in the world, to increase global awareness of Saudi, drive visitation from key priority source markets and support the country's ambitious tourism goals.
The agreement marks the beginning of a powerful partnership involving five of Trip.com Group's brands: Trip.com, Ctrip, Sky scanner, Travix, and MakeMyTrip.
Further expanding global reach, STA signed an MoU with JTB Group, one of the largest travel companies in the world, to support Saudi to gain market share in the APAC, Europe and the Americas. The partnership will drive traffic to Saudi, provide access to market intelligence and include education and training across Saudi within universities and for tour guides.
Saudi became a member of PATA, Pacific Asia Travel Association, one of the largest tourism organizations in the world. This partnership will showcase STA to PATA's extensive network of travel trade professionals, increase Saudi's brand awareness in key markets and share market data and insights.
STA signed an agreement with Bright sun Travel, the leading Umrah operator in the UK, to develop their stop-over products and services in Saudi.
STA also signed an MoU with Oyster Diving, a luxury travel and diving company, to develop the infrastructure around diving experiences in key locations along the Red Sea.
"The pandemic has shown us that the global tourism sector is not just interconnected but interdependent," said Fahd Hamidaddin, STA CEO. "As the sector rebuilds globally, we are building partnerships at all levels to support the recovery and growth of the sector."
"Saudi is establishing a leading global leisure tourism destination. We have been delighted by the positive response we have had from major global travel industry players to the tremendous opportunities our dynamic and growing tourism sector offers."
Activity at the Saudi pavilion supported recent findings of the WTM Industry Report 2021 which highlighted the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a burgeoning future tourism destination. The research indicated that more than half of the businesses surveyed are planning to have business conversations with Saudi companies over the next six months.
Throughout the three-day event, visitors were immersed in the scents, sights, and sounds of Saudi, the authentic home of Arabia. Guests took a journey through the country's top tourist destinations, from the pristine coastline of the Red Sea to the breath-taking heritage sites of AlUla and Diriyah.