Berlin, Germany – In a landmark move, Oman and Saudi Arabia have launched a joint tourism cooperation programme aimed at enhancing the tourism sector of both countries at the ITB Berlin trade fair on Wednesday.

This strategic alliance is set to introduce a series of initiatives and programmes designed to draw tourists from key global markets to the myriad attractions each country offers.

The initiative was officially launched by H E Salem bin Mohammed al Mahrouqi, Oman’s Minister of Heritage and Tourism, and Ahmed al Khatib, Saudi Minister of Tourism. The collaboration is part of a broader strategic partnership between the two countries, with the objective of realising mutual goals and fostering shared interests in the tourism sector.

H E Azzan bin Qasim al Busaidi, Undersecretary for Tourism in Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, said, “This cooperation is a direct reflection of the leadership directives from both countries and marks the fruition of discussions between H E Mahrouqi and Ahmed al Khatib. Announced first in May 2023, it is the first of several initiatives to be unveiled as part of our ongoing bilateral tourism collaboration.”

The programme is set to develop and roll out innovative tourism packages, crafted and managed through the ‘Spirit of Saudi Arabia’ and ‘Visit Oman’ platforms. These initiatives are poised to revolutionise the tourism landscape, offering unique travel experiences, driving economic growth and enhancing bilateral ties between the two countries.

H E Busaidi emphasised the goal of providing tourists unforgettable experiences that cross national boundaries, leveraging both countries’ rich natural and cultural heritage. The focus will be on targeting European, Asian and GCC markets, aiming to broaden cultural exchanges and position Oman and Saudi Arabia as premier tourism destinations.

Abdullah al Haqbani, CEO of Partnerships and Executive Affairs at Saudi Tourism Authority, hailed the partnership as strategic and historic, embodying the enduring friendship and cooperation between the two nations. “Our objective is to build bridges that will open new avenues for tourists worldwide to explore the unique destinations and landmarks our region has to offer,” he stated.

Key aspects of this partnership will include the selection of tourist destinations, product development, infrastructure enhancement, marketing strategy formulation, visa facilitation, launching training programmes for tourism personnel, fostering sustainability practices, and establishing financial mechanisms to bolster the regional and international tourism industries’ growth

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