In a first of its kind initiative, Saudi Arabia will participate at the forthcoming World Travel Market 2014. This participation comes at the time when the Saudi government unveils plans to invest heavily into its tourism industry over the next decade.
Representation from Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA), along with Saudi Airlines and flynas will be present at WTM from 3 – 6 November 2014. The plan for the Saudi government to invest over GBP 18 bn in tourism from 2013 to 2023 was reported last year in a MENA tourism and hospitality report.
Their main objectives are to provide employment opportunities for the many Saudi graduates and cope with increasing number of visitors, which is estimated to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of two percent to 21.3 million over the next decade.
Hamad A Alsheikh, VP for marketing and programs at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) said: “We plan to highlight and introduce existing tourism investments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in different fields, especially in the convention and exhibition sector and accommodation sector, in addition to other tourism and investment areas.”
The SCTA recently announced its GBP1.85 m plan to set-up tourist information centres across the country that provides information on domestic events. The authority has also recorded a 25% increase in domestic trips in the Kingdom from 19 m in 2012 to 23.8 m trips being made last year.