Friday, February 23, 2024

Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) is all set to participate in the upcoming edition of Outbound Travel Market (OTM), scheduled from February 8-10 at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. The event serves as a platform focused on strengthening ties between the travel trade and key stakeholders from the world’s fastest-growing tourism destination.

STA’s continued presence at OTM Mumbai is a testament to its burgeoning tourism industry. A delegation comprising 20 key Saudi stakeholders and prominent associates from various sectors, including DMOs such as Red Sea Global, AlUla, Diriyah, DMCs, Hotels, Tour Operators and Airlines, will be present at the event to collectively showcase the diverse offerings and initiatives driving Saudi’s tourism landscape. Their presence underscores STA’s commitment to fostering scalable partnerships with the Indian trade association. 

STA is excited to showcase its multi-faceted experiences, services, and products at its booth that embodies the essence of Saudi – the true home of Arabia. The thoughtfully designed space serves as an exceptional platform for networking and holding one-on-one meetings with the members of Indian travel trade associations, tour operators, and travel agents who will be able to learn more about mega projects such as Red Sea Global where ultra-luxe properties such as The Six Senses and St. Regis recently opened doors, AlUla, home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hegra, and Sindalah which will be opening in NEOM towards the end of this year.

Alhasan Aldabbagh, President – APAC Markets, Saudi Tourism Authority, emphasised the significance of the Indian market, stating, “As we continue to diversify our offerings, India has proved to be a major accelerator. We are committed to making India the top source market, aiming to welcome 7.5 million Indian visitors by 2030. To facilitate this, we made visa procedures very easy by introducing e-visa options for Indians holding US, UK and Schengen visas with stamped proof of entry. Applying for visa-on-arrival has become easier than ever as it can be processed at 10 visa centres across India.” 

A Stopover visa can also be applied 90 days in advance to visit Saudi for up to 96 hours at these visa facilitation centres when flying with Saudia or Flynas. “Saudi has also enhanced connectivity with Air India, Air India Express, Indigo Airlines, Spice Jet, and Vistara,” Aldabbagh added. The air connectivity has surged reaching a capacity of 2.8 million seats in 2023, a remarkable 31% increase since 2019. Flights from 12 major hubs in India to Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam signify the robust lifeline of connectivity that fortifies successful tourism initiatives.

During the event, the STA delegation will network with travel agents, tour operators, event planners, media, and attendees offering insights into Saudi’s diverse tourism options including providing insights into one of the world’s largest event extravaganzas, as Saudi is hosting 17,000 events, including  Riyadh Season, Jeddah Season and Diriyah Season, with notable events coming up including the Saudi Cup (February 23-24), Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (March 7-9), AlUla Arts Festival (February 9-March 2), AlUla Skies Festival (April 10-27) and much more. 

To further reinforce Saudi’s commitment to India, the STA delegation plans to conduct a four-city networking event in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Delhi, engaging with travel agents and tour operators to foster partnerships and strengthen business ties.

With its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, Saudi has emerged as a top destination for travellers seeking unique and immersive experiences. It presents breathtaking natural wonders and thrilling opportunities, from visiting seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, over 10,000 archaeological sites, deep sea explorations, glamping to cave explorations, desert safaris, and adventure sports.



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