- Saudi Tourism Authority hosted a series of events in Tokyo where key industry players from both sides explored collaborative opportunities and enriched existing links.
- Over 100 key Japanese trade and media attended the multi-day destination showcase promoting Saudi through tailored products and a robust visa program.
TOKYO, May 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has successfully concluded its latest roadshow in Japan with 15 partners, including DMCs, hoteliers and airline representatives in attendance. The roadshow – attended by 100 key Japanese trade partners - opened a window into a diverse range of experiences available to Japanese holidaymakers in Saudi and highlighted Saudi's significance as one of the world's most exciting tourism destinations and the gateway to Arabia.
A series of meetings, round table discussions and networking events were hosted in support of existing strategic partnerships and to celebrate key milestones of Saudi's tourism growth story. Japan is a key focus market for Saudi Arabia, with the country hoping to welcome 32,000 by 2022. Saudi is currently working on direct flight routes making the Kingdom more accessible than ever and welcomes Japanese tourists as part of its e-visa, visa-on-arrival programme.
As part of the highly anticipated roadshow, Saudi Tourism Authority held meetings with key trade partners and travel buyers to promote Saudi as a leisure destination and share insights into the emerging trends in FIT tourism. Saudi's presence in Japan is an indication of the sector's strategic importance for the Kingdom and the country's potential as a critical source market. In what is hailed as a post-pandemic success story, Saudi outpaced G20 countries in terms of tourism recovery, welcoming 93.5 million visits in 2022 with a total tourism spend of SAR185 billion – an increase of 93% compared to 2021. Saudi is set to spend $1 trillion on tourism in the next decade, cementing itself as the world's most exciting and growing tourism landscape.
Alhasan Aldabbagh, President-APAC, Saudi Tourism Authority, said, "Saudi's participation in the roadshow is a commitment to the Japanese market and local partners as Saudi Tourism Authority strengthens existing strategic links to facilitate trade development. These engagements are critical in helping Saudi achieve our ambitious goals, to drive volume and growth and showcase the beauty of Saudi and its many tourism offerings in Japan."
Japanese travellers can look forward to a diverse and unrivalled range of experiences – from adventure, culture and heritage to nature – curated specifically for the local market based on consumer insights. The packages highlight some of the latest developments and most attractive destinations in Saudi, including blockbuster attractions and hidden gems known to few people outside of Saudi. These include:
Culture and Heritage: As the birthplace of Arabia, Saudi has a rich culture and heritage dating back thousands of years. It is home to 6 UNESCO world heritage sites and more than 10,000 archaeological sites that are unexplored and that we are waiting to be discovered. Sites include Jeddah's historical Al Balad old town in Jeddah – recently undergoing a regeneration project - Turaif district in Diriyah – an 18th-century mud brick city which is the ancestral home of the Al Saud family, and Al-Ahsa Oasis, the largest oasis in the world boasting 2.5 million date palms.
Preserving its heritage and history, a $50.6 billion master plan is transforming Diriyah, a 300-year-old city, into one of the world's most exciting cultural and leisure sites. Traditional mud-brick architecture hides museums and galleries, and a pedestrianized maze of winding alleyways houses cafes and craft shops offer precious insights into traditional life. Diriyah's new Bujairai terrace is also a world-leading dining destination, with 20 global brands, including four Michelin-starred names.
AlUla is the world's largest living museum and a landscape of preserved tombs, sandstone outcrops, and historic dwellings that hold 200,000 years of ancient history. AlUla is home to new luxury ad eco-resorts, a calendar of cultural attractions and hosts regular festivals like Winter at Tantora and concerts from Maraya – the world's largest mirrored building. Wadi ALFann, Valley of the Arts, will also open in 2024.
Nature: Saudi boasts some of the world's most vibrant, untouched coral reefs in the Red Sea. Holidaymakers can charter a boat for some deep-sea fishing, relax aboard a cruise or scuba dive and snorkel year-round off the coast of Jeddah while enjoying pristine beaches offering every water sport imaginable. The Red Sea project will open its first phase in 2023 – a new dawn for beach and island tourism in the Kingdom with elite global hotel brands – and Neom's islands will also open, debuting with the luxury yachting island of Sindalah.
Entertainment: Saudi is emerging as a major entertainment hub in the region, having hosted large sporting events and world-class festivals such as Diriyah E-Prix and Jeddah's Formula 1. MDLBeast, the world's largest music festival, is an annual highlight, along with Riyadh Seasons – a mega festival which attracted more than one million visitors in its first week.
Shopping: From the cosmopolitan cities of Jeddah and Dammam that boast bustling cafés and traditional markets to artistic communities and bohemian arts centres, as well as Al-Qaisaryah Souq in Hofuf, one of the country's oldest traditional markets, Saudi offers bountiful opportunities for discovery. Top shopping experiences include Jeddha's Home Grown Market for ceramics, calligraphy and Arabic art and Talibah and Al Shatie Markets for abaya shopping.
Authors: PR Newswire Asia - Metro Digital RSS