The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has opened a commercial office for the UK and Ireland as part of its strategy to engage the tourism trade in key source markets.
The move is part of a plan to have representative offices in 15 markets around the world including China, India and the GCC among others, to expand the reach of the activities of the body.
“STA is focused on enhancing its ability to deliver a truly global scale offering by investing resources today in the network that will drive our business for the future,” said Fahd Hamidaddin, chief executive of the Saudi Tourism Authority.
“We are building an integrated global team of professionals to showcase Saudi’s diverse offering of cultural adventures, world class heritage sites and authentic Arabian hospitality.”
The UK and Ireland office will be responsible for trade marketing activities, expanding the reach and relevance of Saudi’s tourism offer and working with tour operators.
The UK and Ireland representative office is being set up with the support of MMGY Hills Balfour, a travel, tourism and lifestyle communications partner.
“We have already begun outreach into the UK and Ireland tourism trade ecosystem and the response has been very positive,” said Nimit Amin, director UK and Ireland, Saudi Tourism Authority.
“We are actively seeking opportunities to co-invest with partners who are keen to add Saudi as an exciting new destination in their portfolio.”
Since opening its borders to international tourism in September 2019, Saudi rapidly established itself as the fastest growing tourism destination in the world, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Despite the global shutdown of leisure tourism in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, STA has continued to invest to prepare the destination for a return to normalcy.