Saudi Arabia is seeking to attract more Chinese visitors, with the Kingdom’s tourism authority signing an agreement with Shanghai-based global payment services provider UnionPay International (UPI).

In a press statement,  Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) said the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UnionPay will would allow it to promote the Kingdom as a UnionPay-friendly destination for the global Chinese community.

UnionPay already has extensive partnerships with banks in Saudi, including Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi National Bank, Alinma Bank and Riyad Bank. In addition, the acceptance rate of UnionPay cards in the country is likely to increase to more than 70 percent by 2022-end.

UnionPay has accelerated its regional business in recent years to better meet the needs between China and the Middle East. Currently, 11 countries in the Middle East accept UnionPay cards.

Saudi Arabia aims to be a top-five global tourism destination by 2030, with China being a key source market and one of 49 countries eligible for tourist e-visas, the statement noted.

(Writing by D Madhura; Editing by Anoop Menon)