Saudi pavilion at ATM a hotbed of business deals and development announcements

Saudi Tourism Authority signs MoU with India's leading online travel agency Travel Boutique Online

  
  • Hotelbeds and Saudi Tourism Authority sign joint marketing agreement to drive destination awareness of Saudi
  • Seera Group and Klook form a strategic partnership to drive the digital transformation of Saudi’s tourism sector
  • IHG announces seven new hotels across Saudi in partnership with RIVA Development Company  
  • SAUDIA and Etihad launch new offer for loyalty program members 

Dubai, UAE: The Saudi pavilion at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2021 was buzzing with business deals and development announcements, evidence of the strength of, and confidence in, Saudi’s growing tourism industry as the sector makes efforts to rebuild and recover globally.

“Saudi is driving a new model of tourism for the twenty-first century,” said Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority. “This year’s ATM demonstrated the recognition by major global travel industry players of the tremendous opportunities our dynamic and growing tourism industry offers.”

More than 20 Saudi partners converged at the Saudi exhibitor stand, which witnessed over 890 meetings and a flurry of deals between the country’s leading travel companies and international tourism partners, showcasing the fast-expanding offering of one of the world’s newest leisure travel destinations.

Announcements made at the Saudi pavilion at this year’s ATM included:

  • Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) and leading Indian online travel agency Travel Boutique Online (TBO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop destination knowledge of Saudi through new, innovative programs on the TBO Academy platform, reaching 90,000 agents globally and targeting 25,000 visitors by 2022;
  • STA and Hotelbeds, the world’s leading bed bank, signed a joint marketing agreement to drive awareness of Saudi as a unique, exciting destination among the Hotelbeds B2B network, comprising more than 180,000 travel agents;
  • The regional travel services company Seera Group and the online booking platform Klook signed a strategic partnership to create a one-stop digital booking platform for Saudi tourism providers;
  • IHG® Hotels & Resorts’ signed a Master Development Agreement (MDA) with RIVA Development Company to open at least seven hotels in Saudi across IHG’s portfolio of brands;
  • SAUDIA, Saudi’s national flag carrier, and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, launched a reciprocal loyalty agreement, allowing loyalty program members to earn and redeem miles on flights across both networks;
  • Ajlan & Bros Holding and Desert Adventures Tourism announced a partnership to establish a full-service destination management company (DMC) in Saudi Arabia;
  • GCC travel agency Aviareps launched packages for AlUla, one of Saudi’s premier nature, culture and heritage destinations;
  • Hotel operator and developer Dur Hospitality announced several expansion projects, including the Crowne Plaza Riyadh Palace Hotel and the Riyadh Airport Marriott Hotel; and
  • Zahid Travel, one of Saudi’s first travel agencies, launched the GoZahid Destination Management dedicated DMC brand.

Partnerships with the world’s major tourism players are transforming Saudi’s great ambition as a leisure tourism destination into reality, so we were thrilled to see so much positive movement at ATM. We thank ATM’s organizers for the opportunity to showcase Saudi’s iconic places, profound experiences and unparalleled hospitality to the region and the world,” said Fahd Hamidaddin.

The activity at the show mirrored the impressive growth of Saudi’s tourism ecosystem. The number of local DMCs has expanded from 17 in the summer of 2019 to 72 today. MSC Cruises will launch two Red Sea itineraries in the fall with Saudi home ports, and major hotel brands including Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Accor Group will join IHG in expanding their footprint in Saudi.

Find out more about STA’s participation at this year’s Arabian Travel Market and the fantastic range of activities available to tourists in Saudi at:

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About Saudi Tourism Authority

Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), launched in June 2020, markets Saudi Arabia’s tourism destinations worldwide and develops the Kingdom’s offering through programs, packages and business support. Its mandate includes developing the country’s unique assets and destinations, hosting and participating in industry events, and promoting Saudi Arabia’s tourism brand locally and overseas.

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