English Print Edition
BEIJING -- The Saudi Arabia Tourism Authority has just concluded its first-ever roadshow in China as it looks to create greater opportunities for collaboration and attract more Chinese travelers as part of the country's Vision 2030 plans.
The promotional activity saw events held in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, promoting the Middle Eastern country as a leisure destination. Travel agencies, hotels, and airlines participating in the roadshow all emphasized Saudi Arabia as the perfect holiday spot for Chinese travelers.
With a diverse range of experiences from adventure to culture, heritage, and nature, and over 10,000 archaeological sites and six UNESCO World Heritage sites, Saudi Arabia is looking to welcome more Chinese travelers in its bid to become one of the world's top holiday destinations.
"We are doing event in each city to meet DMCs (Destination Management Companies) and travel agencies in China to explain about Saudi Arabia and tell them what we have in Saudi and promote Saudi Arabia," said Abdulaziz Alsohibani, director of sales of Discover Saudi, the country's leading DMC.
The major tourism push forms a central part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 plans, which aims to diversify the country's economy and develop broader service sectors, while moving away from its heavy oil dependency.
One of the main goals of the vision is to position the country as one of the top holiday destinations globally and Chinese holidaymakers are viewed as important to this aim.
In 2019, the country welcomed over 100,000 Chinese travelers but has set the ambitious goal of attracting as many as 3.9 million Chinese visitors by 2030, with the Saudi-side planning to launch a number of China-specific experiences and packages to entice more travelers from China.
Later this year, a new direct flight from Beijing to the Saudi capital Riyadh will be initiated while more new flight routes and travel packages tailor-made for Chinese travelers can be expected in the future.
"I think Saudi has a lot to offer the Chinese culture seekers, wonder seekers, and the places that have been untouched, undiscovered that are second to none. Saudi has been for years and decades not open, so it's the best kept secret, and now it's open with all its treasures," said Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO f the Saudi Tourism Authority.