JEDDAH — Almosafer, the leading omni-channel travel brand in Saudi Arabia, has entered a strategic partnership with VisitBritain to further boost the tourism ties between the two countries. The announcement was made at Almosafer's flagship branch in Jeddah last Oct. 28 during the signing ceremony which was attended by Her Majesty's Consul General to Saudi Arabia Seif Usher, several members of the senior leadership team at Almosafer including Fahad Mohammed Al Obailan, Vice President of retail, as well as a number of other VIPs and stakeholders.
Britain remains one of the top destinations among Saudi travellers, with VisitBritain reporting 166,000 visits from Saudi Arabia in 2018, up 3% vs 2017, in addition to almost SR 2 Billion (£424 million) in travel spend over the same period. VisitBritain also saw an increase in the length of stay from Saudi visitors, with an average of 16 nights per visit in 2018 based on flight booking data.
According to Almosafer data, many Saudi travellers are also looking beyond London to the rolling green countryside outside the capital and other tourist cities including Bristol, Oxford and Manchester and the partnership is designed to showcase the full breadth of offer for visitors to the UK.
The partnership will focus on the delivery of content-led campaigns that showcase the inbound hubs of London and Manchester and the surrounding areas. One of the highlights will see Raha Moharrak, the youngest Arab and the first Saudi woman to climb Mount Everest and the seven summits, create a video series that showcases London and Manchester’s year-round cultural, scenic and entertainment offering, highlighting the top things to do and see, relevant to Saudi travellers. The collaboration with Raha, who is also a social media personality and record holder in her own right, comes in line with Almosafer’s ongoing efforts to engage female Saudi travellers and inspire them to explore the world. The films will be showcased on Almosafer’s “Travel is Happiness” video series. Almosafer will also be hosting several interactive activations at select branches to further educate customers on the United Kingdom’s diverse tourism offering.
Fahad Obailan, VP Retail at Almosafer, said: “We recognize the growing popularity of Britain as a destination for Saudi travellers and this partnership with VisitBritain supports our joint goals to showcase the extensive range of leisure, entertainment and sightseeing experiences across the United Kingdom. Through this partnership, we will inspire Saudi travellers with bespoke Arabic content and UK itineraries that meet their every need and showcase the year-round offer of this highly desirable destination.”
Tricia Warwick, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa Director for VisitBritain, said: “Saudi Arabia is one of our key inbound tourism markets for Britain as it ranks number 17 globally for inbound spend in the UK . Saudi is also among the markets with the highest length of stay, 16 nights per visit (+132% on all-market average) and with the second highest average spent per visit £2,551 (over 4 times the all-market average, £604). Saudi visitors have always chosen Britain as a summer destination to enjoy the cooler climate as well as the shopping, history and dining experiences. With the help of Almosafer, a home-grown Saudi brand with a deep understanding of regional travel needs and preferences, we will be able to design tailored packages featuring experiences that appeal to the Saudi audience and will support Britain’s productivity contributing for our regional and seasonal spread”.
As part of the collaboration, VisitBritain will be taking on an active role in Almosafer Academy recruitment program, an intensive 10-week course that will prepare future Saudi travel advisors to curate incredible travel experiences. VisitBritain will offer bespoke training sessions to help candidates talk knowledgeably about the destination and will bring outstanding candidates to the UK to experience the best of the British offer for themselves. This will enable Almosafer’s retail travel advisors to more effectively advise Saudi travellers on the perfect UK trip to suit their every need. — SG
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