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Home » Travel » Saudi Tourism Authority To Open International Marketing Offices to Boost Saudi Tourism
Saudi Tourism Authority To Open International Marketing Offices to Boost Saudi Tourism
Saudi Tourism Authority To Open International Marketing Offices to Boost Saudi Tourism

Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector has received a significant boost with the approval of 24 new regulations, including allowing the Saudi Tourism Authority to set up marketing offices both domestically and internationally. 

The new regulations aim to boost visitor arrivals to the Kingdom and promote Saudi Arabia as a top-tier global destination in line with Vision 2030.

They also include activities that promote Umrah packages as well as working with local and international companies in marketing the Kingdom as a top tourist destination globally.

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International & Domestic Marketing Offices

Image Credit NEOM

A key highlight of the approved regulations is the establishment of marketing offices both within Saudi Arabia and internationally. This strategic move aims to increase visitor arrivals and showcase the Kingdom as a premier tourist destination. 

By collaborating with government bodies related to tourism, these marketing offices will play a crucial role in promoting Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural heritage and diverse tourist attractions at local, regional, and international levels.

Image Credit Al Balad

Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb, who also serves as the Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), emphasized the government’s commitment to supporting the tourism sector’s objectives. 

Al-Khateeb highlighted that these regulations empower the STA to promote the Kingdom’s tourist offerings more dynamically and actively.

Collaboration and Strategic Partnerships

Image Credit Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia

Collaboration with government bodies related to tourism is a pivotal aspect of the regulations. The regulations emphasize the importance of establishing marketing offices in key source markets to promote tourist destinations effectively. 

By working closely with these government bodies, the STA aims to create a strong network of marketing offices that will drive the sector’s overall growth.

Furthermore, the regulations outline the significance of setting visitation targets and allocating funds to bolster the private sector’s involvement. This collaborative approach ensures that the tourism sector benefits from the expertise and resources of both the public and private sectors.

Marketing and Promotion

Image Credit Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia

The STA is now mandated to execute comprehensive plans and policies for domestic and international tourism marketing. This includes enhancing tourist destinations in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism. 

The authority will also support and market various activities and events organized by government entities and the private sector.

Importantly, the regulations encompass marketing campaigns, both domestically and internationally, to highlight the Kingdom’s tourist sites and products. 

This includes developing and registering trademarks and other intellectual property rights associated with tourism marketing under the authority’s name in compliance with relevant regulations.

Database of Tourist Sites and Services

Image Credit Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia

To ensure a rich and accessible repository of Saudi Arabia’s tourist offerings, the STA establishes and regularly updates a database of all tourist sites, destinations, resorts, and services. 

This effort will be undertaken in collaboration with relevant authorities to provide comprehensive information to potential visitors.

Promotion of Umrah Packages

In addition to promoting general tourism, the STA is responsible for promoting Umrah packages. The authority will oversee the platforms developed for this purpose in coordination with pertinent agencies. 

This concerted effort aims to enhance the experience of Umrah pilgrims and highlight the Kingdom’s commitment to facilitating religious tourism.

Visitor Experiences and Standards

Image Credit Red Sea Global

The STA evaluates visitor experiences and develops the necessary standards, tools, and mechanisms to address tourist priorities and challenges. These insights will be shared with the Ministry of Tourism to ensure continuous improvement in the tourist services and facilities.

Development and Modernization of Tourist Sites

Image Credit Al Balad

In collaboration with esteemed local and international companies, the STA will propose designs, policies, and procedures for developing and modernizing tourist sites. 

By leveraging the expertise of these partners in tourism marketing, the Kingdom aims to enhance the appeal of its tourist destinations and provide a world-class experience to visitors.

Collaboration with Government Bodies

The regulations underscore the importance of collaboration with government bodies to create promotional offices in key source markets. By establishing marketing offices in these markets, the Kingdom aims to strengthen its presence and attract a diverse range of international visitors.

Training and Professional Development

Acknowledging the critical role of human resources in the tourism sector, the regulations emphasize the importance of training and professional development. The STA will collaborate with local and international educational institutions to design and execute specialized training programs. 

These programs aim to elevate the proficiency of tourism marketing practices and facilitate the professional growth of personnel in the sector.

Media Strategies and Engagement

Image Credit Visit Saudi

To support tourism marketing efforts, the STA will develop and execute media strategies both domestically and internationally. This includes orchestrating and participating in tourism-related forums, conferences, and exhibitions within and beyond the borders of Saudi Arabia. 

By engaging with the media and participating in industry events, the Kingdom aims to raise awareness of its tourist offerings and attract global attention.

Tourism Product Owners Support

Image Credit Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia

The STA will provide comprehensive support to tourism product owners within the Kingdom. This support encompasses administrative, technical, and consultative guidance to enhance their marketing initiatives. 

Small and medium-sized enterprises will receive special attention, with projects tailored to their needs in alignment with relevant authorities.

International Collaboration and Exchange of Experiences

Image Credit Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia

The authority will actively cooperate and exchange experiences with regional and international bodies and organizations in the field of tourism. 

By sharing best practices and learning from global partners, the Kingdom seeks to continuously improve its tourism sector and stay at the forefront of international tourism trends.

Empowering the Kingdom

Image Credit Vision 2030

The Saudi Cabinet’s approval of these 24 regulations marks a significant milestone in developing Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector. 

With a focus on global promotion, collaboration, and setting strategic targets, these regulations empower the Saudi Tourism Authority to play a pivotal role in positioning the Kingdom as a top-tier tourist destination. 

Popular Destinations in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah

Jeddah, the gateway to the holy city of Mecca, is a city of contrasts. The city blends modernity and tradition, where sleek skyscrapers coexist with historic districts. From the grand Al Balad district in Old Jeddah to the luxurious Jeddah Yacht Club and Marina, visitors can experience the best of both worlds. 

One of its greatest attractions is its location near the Red Sea. The scenic Jeddah Waterfront provides a lovely spot for picnics and the chance to admire the stunning views of the Red Sea. 

Here are the top 10 must-visit attractions in Jeddah that every traveler should include in their itinerary.

  1. King Fahd Fountain

King Fahd Fountain, also known as the Jeddah Fountain, is the tallest of its kind in the world. With its jet of water reaching up to 312 meters, it is a spectacle to behold. It operates daily from early evening until midnight, providing an awe-inspiring sight against the night sky.

  1. The Jeddah Corniche

The Jeddah Corniche is a 30km coastal resort area of the city with numerous hotels and restaurants. It is an ideal place for a leisurely walk or a picnic with family. Take advantage of the mesmerizing sunset view from here.

  1. Al-Balad

Al-Balad is the historic district of Jeddah, filled with traditional coral houses and ancient souks. This UNESCO World Heritage site provides a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture.

  1. Jeddah’s Floating Mosque

Known as the Floating Mosque because of its unique design, Jeddah’s Floating Mosque appears to float on the Red Sea. It is a popular attraction for both tourists and locals alike.

  1. King Fahd’s Fountain

King Fahd’s Fountain, the tallest water fountain in the world, is one of Jeddah’s iconic landmarks. It is a must-see when in Jeddah.

  1. Baab Makkah

Baab Makkah, also known as Makkah Gate, is a significant landmark in Jeddah with a rich historical background. The bustling open-air market is best experienced at night and offers a true taste of the city’s culture. 

A leisurely walk around the souks will give visitors a glimpse into the essence of Jeddah. The architectural marvel of Baab Makkah is a popular tourist spot in its own right.

  1.  Nasseef House

Nasseef House is a historical structure in Al-Balad, Jeddah. It was once the residence of one of Jeddah’s most powerful trading families.

  1.  Matbouli House Museum

The Matbouli House Museum is situated in the Al-Qossani Alley in Al-Balad District, Jeddah, and is under private ownership. Originally a residence for a traditional merchant in the Hijazi culture, this building has been transformed into a museum. 

With a history of almost 400 years, it was constructed in the urban architectural style of its time.

  1. Jeddah Fakieh Aquarium

Jeddah Fakieh Aquarium, the only aquarium in Saudi Arabia, features various marine life, including sharks and coral reefs.

  1. King Abdulaziz International Airport

King Abdulaziz International Airport is the gateway to Jeddah and the largest airport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The city of Jeddah offers a wealth of attractions for the discerning traveler. There is something for everyone, from its historic districts to its modern shopping malls.

Upcoming Destinations in Jeddah

Jeddah Central Destination

Image Credit Jeddah Central Development Company

The new Jeddah Central Destination, aimed towards elevating Jeddah into a global tourist hotspot, has moved closer to realization. The Jeddah Central Development Company has recently awarded $3.2 billion in contracts for the inaugural development phase. 

Spanning an expansive 5.7 million square kilometers, this iconic destination is poised to showcase a world-class stadium, an oceanarium, beach resorts, 2,700 hotel rooms, shopping malls, restaurants, and 17,000 housing units.

MARAFY Waterfront Project

Image Credit ROSHN

ROSHN, a real estate developer under the ownership of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has recently initiated the MARAFY Waterfront project in Jeddah by laying the foundation stone.

The highly awaited MARAFY development is set to include an 11km artificial canal, establishing a direct connection to the Red Sea.

The waterside districts of MARAFY are expected to be seamlessly linked to one another and the broader Jeddah community through water taxis, ferries, and a dedicated metro station.

Additionally, there are plans for a direct canal link from MARAFY to Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport.

AlUla

Image Credit AlUla Development Company

AIUIa, located in northwest Saudi Arabia in the Madina province, is a city brimming with captivating landscapes, cultural treasures, and a vibrant history. In recent years, it has emerged as a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the globe. 

AlUla holds the distinction of being the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country. The archeological site, Mada’in Saleh or Hegra, is a fascinating location with historical significance dating back to the Nabatean kingdom.

From bustling cities to serene coastal towns and from majestic mountains to ancient ruins, AIUIa offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers.

The Old Town of Al Ula invites visitors to take a step back in time with its traditional mud houses, visually representing how ancient civilizations lived in the desert. 

One of the main attractions in Hegra is the Tomb of Lihyan, also known as Qasr al-Farid (Lonely Mountain), standing at an impressive height of 72 feet. 

In 2019, Italian architects designed and completed the renowned Maraya, meaning “mirror” or “reflection.” This fascinating cube structure was added to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2020 as the largest building covered in mirrors. 

The Arch (Rainbow) Rock, resembling a rainbow caught between two clouds, is a significant natural formation in AlUla. This unique bridge-like shape is a rare sight and a popular tourist destination. 

Another natural wonder is the Jabal AlFil (Elephant Rock), which took millions of years of erosion to form its distinct body and trunk shape resembling an elephant. This site is popular for tourists and serves as a camping spot. 

Other notable attractions in AlUla include Ekmah Heritage Mountain, Jabal Ithlib, and the Sparhawk Arch.

The Red Sea  

Image Credit Killa Design

The Red Sea, known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural history, is transforming significantly. Red Sea Global is advancing several unique mega-projects to transform the Red Sea into a luxury regenerative tourism destination.

The Saudi Red Sea Project, situated in the northwest region of Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk Province, is a part of the Giga Projects launched by HRH Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2017 with a multi-billion dollar budget. 

Image Credit Red Sea Global

The Red Sea features 90 pristine islands and stretches for 200 km along the stunning Saudi Red Sea coastline. The project aims to provide 3,000 upscale hotel rooms across 16 hotels by 2024, with plans to expand to 8,000 hotel rooms in 50 hotels and 1,000 residences by 2030.

Red Sea Global is in the process of creating three exceptionally luxurious tourist destinations along the breathtaking Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia: 

These initiatives on the Red Sea are designed to elevate the country’s high-end tourism industry and uphold the highest sustainability practices.

Open Red Sea Hotels Saudi Arabia

Six Senses Southern Dunes 

Image Credit Six Senses

Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea is officially the first hotel to open in the Red Sea Giga Project. This beautiful resort features 36 guest rooms and 40 pool villas, all set amidst the stunning landscape of the Majestic Arabian Desert and Hijaz Mountains. 

This resort is a seamless blend of innovative tourism, environmental consciousness, and cultural preservation. The resort also offers several activities and experiences that highlight the rich history and traditions of Saudi Arabia, including artisan workshops. 

St. Regis Red Sea Resort

Image Credit Red Sea Global

The St. Regis Red Sea Resort has officially opened to the public, becoming the first privately owned island resort along the stunning coast of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea

Set on the pristine Ummahat Island, the St. Regis Red Sea Resort can be reached by a chartered boat or seaplane from the newly built Red Sea International Airport. 

With 90 lavish villas situated over the water or on the beach, each equipped with a private pool, guests can enjoy a range of luxurious amenities such as a signature spa and five distinct restaurants.

Upcoming Tourism Projects in Saudi Arabia

Sindalah Island

Image Credit NEOM

NEOM‘s first physical manifestation, Sindalah, aims to revolutionize luxury tourism. Situated in the captivating Red Sea, this exceptional island destination seamlessly integrates advanced technology, eco-friendly design, and breathtaking natural surroundings. 

With various luxurious facilities such as private beaches, yacht clubs, and a wellness center, Sindalah provides an exclusive experience. The island will also include 51 high-end retail stores, lavish hotels, and a significant marina, ensuring the ultimate luxury for visitors all year round.

Norlana

Image Credit NEOM

NEOM has introduced Norlana, a high-end waterfront destination situated on the stunning Gulf of Aqaba. Norlana is carefully crafted to be a prestigious community, offering a range of lavish accommodations such as a luxurious hotel, exquisite mansions, beachfront villas, and residences. 

It also features a superyacht marina and a magnificent 18-hole golf course. Emphasizing the importance of sports, well-being, and environmental preservation, Norlana guarantees an exhilarating retreat that aligns with NEOM’s dedication to sustainable and opulent living.

The announcement of Norlana follows the recent unveiling of other sustainable tourism destinations by NEOM, including Leyja, Epicon, Siranna, Utamo, Zardun, Xaynor, and Elanan, all located in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Keep Reading: Saudi Arabia Ranks No.1 in United Nations International Tourism Tourist Arrivals in 2023

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