17 Muharram 1446 - 23 July 2024
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Eye of Dubai
Tourism & Hospitality | Tuesday 7 May, 2024 11:05 am |


The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) marked the start of this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) by showcasing Saudi’s spectacular summer destinations to trade partners - as the country’s tourism sector continues to go from strength to strength.


Representatives from Saudi’s booming tourism ecosystem kicked-off the Middle East’s biggest travel and tourism trade show aiming to build awareness of Saudi’s unique and diverse summer destination offering, strengthen and establish new trade partnerships, and celebrate the remarkable year-on-year growth of the Saudi tourism sector. 


Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Board Member of STA, is leading the Saudi delegation of 72 partners from across the tourism sector, including top destination management companies, hoteliers, and airlines, to the show that started in Dubai today.


The delegation is aiming to showcase Saudi’s distinctive summer destinations to trade partners and consumers in the GCC region and underline Saudi’s status as a world-leading year-round tourism destination, with a strategic focus on priority markets like India and China.


Over the summer season, Saudi offers a unique and diverse range of activities and destinations for visitors including young families ranging from the pristine beaches of the Red Sea, the rich culture of Jeddah, and an events program like no other, including the Esports World Cup starting in Riyadh this July. 


Saudi’s mountainous regions including the tranquil and picturesque destinations of Aseer, Taif, and Al Baha also provide a refreshing escape during the summer season with temperatures in the low 20s. These serene retreats are ideal for adventure travellers who seek natural beauty, wildlife, hiking trails, and cool breezes.


Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Board Member of STA, said:


“We’re delighted to be back at ATM this year to showcase Saudi as a unique summer destination, offering an action-packed events calendar, cool mountain regions for adventurer seekers, and pristine beaches for families and those looking to relax.


“The MEA and APAC markets are hugely important in our overarching tourism strategy with a combined 23 million visits last year, and we will be focusing on growing those numbers. 


“Having welcomed over 100m tourists in 2023, Saudi is the land of now - offering growth and opportunities like no other to trade partners across the globe. And over the coming days, we look forward to building new long-lasting partnerships, sharing knowledge, and showcasing the wealth of opportunities Saudi has to offer.”


Building on the success of last year’s presence at ATM, where over 50,000 visitors were welcomed at the Saudi stand, this year’s exhibit is set across three floors with partners showcasing hundreds of affordable and luxury bookable products for destinations such as Jeddah, AlUla, Aseer, Riyadh, and the Red Sea. 


Visitors can race a bike through the mountains of Aseer on a virtual simulator, download specially curated Saudi Summer playlists in partnership with Anghami, see an array of football memorabilia at the Saudi Pro League Museum, and enjoy live performances of traditional Saudi dancers, digital art displays from local artists. The diversity of Saudi will also be showcased with an interactive Saudi map and activities calendar.


The stand also showcases the new “Saudi Rewards” scheme, a first-of-its-kind national rewards program, offering free nationwide rewards for citizens and visitors to unlock points on tourism, shopping, dining, entertainment, and more. Saudi Rewards currently has a network of 17 partners and will have a dedicated booth at ATM with interactive activations for visitors to enjoy.


On the first day of the event, Mr Hamidaddin participated in a flagship panel event alongside other tourism leaders from the GCC to discuss collaboration and Saudi’s role in the region’s growing tourism sector. 


Popular UAE radio station Dubai Eye also broadcast their afternoon show live from the Saudi booth where they discussed Saudi’s summer offering, while trailblazing Indian influencer Masoom Minawala Mehta and world-famous travel influencer brothers, Wael and Nael Abualteen, were on the stand creating content for their social channels.


STA and its partners are aiming to build on the successes of last year’s ATM, where more than 1,600 deals and more than 50 MoUs and strategic agreements were signed – resulting in 35,000 extra visits.


Saudi presents trade partners with an unparalleled opportunity for sustained growth. Notably, the country achieved a significant milestone by welcoming 100 million tourists in 2023. Together with partners, STA is building knowledge of Saudi’s destination offerings to consumers, to address barriers to destination knowledge and welcome more visitors than ever to the Kingdom.


This boom has continued in 2024, with the first quarter of the year witnessing a double-digit growth increase in tourists compared to the same period last year - bolstering Saudi’s position as a leading global tourism destination and driving progress towards its revised target of 150 million visits by 2030. 




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