The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Neom have partnered for a new initiative focused on the future of tourism in Saudi Arabia. The Tourism Experiences of the Future challenge will source innovative ideas and disruptive business models related to the tourism needs of the future, in line with growing demand for new experiences.
All proposals must be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, the UNWTO said, and should include the introduction or adaptation of digital and technological elements.
They will be focused on at least one of the following areas:
- Optimising and maximising the potential of experiential tourism.
- Harnessing the positive impact of new technology.
- Alternative business models.
- Innovative experiences.
The competition is the first national initiative dedicated to identifying new companies that will lead the tourism sector’s transformation in Saudi Arabia.
As well as established businesses, the competition also welcomes applications from Saudi Arabian start-ups and innovators with ideas capable of revolutionising and inspiring tourists by presenting new ways and reasons to travel. Applications are open until 24 October, with great interest expected, and participants must be Saudi citizens with legal capacity to enter into a contract.
Successful projects will be selected based on various criteria, such as the degree of innovation, their viability and sustainability. An affiliate member of UNWTO since 2019, Neom is located in north-west Saudi Arabia along the Red Sea.