SAUDI ARABIA has been announced as the official partner destination of ITB China as the kingdom seeks greater numbers of Chinese tourists and business events.
The opening session of the ITB China Conference will feature a speech by Alhasan Aldabbagh, President of APAC Markets, Saudi Tourism Authority, on September 12, the first day of the show.
Saudi Tourism Authority has plans to attract five million Chinese tourists to the kingdom by 2030.
“The Chinese market holds great significance for us, especially in light of this pivotal year for the return of China’s outbound travel market,” Alhasan Aldabbagh said.
“Through this event, we aim to showcase the wide array of travel experiences including our rich cultural and heritage Saudi Arabia has to offer to the Chinese market as well as reaffirm our commitment to the market through the introduction of various China-ready initiatives.
“ITB China presents a distinct opening to develop and strengthen partnerships with leading tour operators and travel agents in China whilst advancing Chinese tourism in Saudi Arabia.”
In August, the Saudi Tourism Authority announced a series of measures to enhance Chinese tourism and make China the third largest source market for Saudi Arabia:
– Issuance of e-visas to Chinese travellers
– A dedicated Chinese hotline of the official Mandarin website: (visitsaudi.cn)
– Chinese signage at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh
– UnionPay channels in the country
Customised experience packages have also been created by destinations in the country that cater to Chinese travellers.
The country’s flag carrier SAUDIA has recently launched direct Jeddah-Beijing and Riyadh-Beijing flights in alignment with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. These new routes join the daily flights SAUDIA already operates from Guangzhou and there are also plans for direct flights from Shanghai.
The partnership follows the signing of an MoU between Trip.com chief executive Jane Sun and Saudi Tourism Authority CEO Fahd Hamidaddin last April to launch a series of joint marketing campaigns across several countries.
Main picture: Hikers enjoy the mountainscape views in Saudi Arabia – one of the hidden charms the kingdom wants Chinese travellers to explore