Category Archives: Govt

SAUDIA highlights kingdom’s tourism offerings in Barcelona

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the Kingdom’s national flag carrier, has hosted a special roadshow event in Barcelona, Spain in the presence of His Excellency Mr. Ehab Mohammed AlNajjar, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Saudi Embassy in Spain, on behalf of His Excellency the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Spain, Mr. Azzam Al-Qain, with the goal of promoting the Kingdom as a leading global tourist destination. The roadshow, which comes as part of the global campaign Fly to Your Next and was held in collaboration with the Air Connectivity Program, showcased Saudi Arabia’s numerous exciting travel and tourism projects and invited travel agencies to learn more about the world-class attractions visitors can experience in the Kingdom. The special event highlighted the latest marketing campaigns for tourism events and programs, including both current and planned initiatives. The Saudi Tourism Authority and tourism megaprojects including NEOM took center stage during the presentation. Invited guests were also familiarized with the benefits SAUDIA provides through its SAUDIA Holidays platform, which offers full packages including flight tickets and hotel reservations, as well as opportunities to book vehicles, tours, and excursions. The national flag carrier’s campaign comes as part of its ambitious plan to bring the world to Saudi Arabia. As the ‘Wings of Vision 2030’, the airline aims to take the campaign to many countries across Europe, as well as the United States and other key markets. SAUDIA highlighted its continuing collaborations with the Ministry of Tourism, the General Entertainment Authority, the Ministry of Culture, and the Ministry of Sport. The airline is a strategic partner in transporting participants and visitors from across the globe to leading events in the Kingdom and operates a …

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Saudi hosts roadshows in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Saudi held meetings in Central Asian countries with roadshows in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The delegation participating in the official visit was led by H.E. Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Saudi’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah and Chairman of the committee of the Pilgrim Experience Program. As part of Vision 2030, the aim of the visit was to promote Saudi’s new and enhanced arrival procedures that will enable pilgrims all over the world to complete their religious journeys with comfort and ease. In addition, these new procedures will enrich visitors’ religious and cultural experiences. The roadshows witnessed the signing of several agreements with the aim of facilitating procedures and developing greater air connectivity between Saudi Arabia and the two countries. These agreements and partnerships were made in line with improving the quality of services under the Pilgrim Experience Program, an initiative of Vision 2030. The Nusuk e-platform offers a wide range of options and various solutions for accommodation and flight reservations for all Muslims visiting the Two Holy Mosques, including visitors and Umrah performers. Nusuk has been developed in partnership with an accredited and elite selection of travel companies in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, along with Umrah specialists to better serve visitors and Umrah performers. Fahd Hamidaddin, Nusuk Managing Director, stated, The launch of Nusuk is one of the most significant announcements since the Saudi eVisa in 2019. These trade partner agreements and new procedures will increase the number of visitors and pilgrims that Saudi will be able to welcome from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In addition, partnerships with national and low-cost airlines will make travel to Saudi more accessible than ever.

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Sharjah Chamber organizes Sharjah-Russia business forum, briefs Russian investors on business opportunities

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has organized the “Sharjah-Russia business forum” to discuss ways to boost economic ties and deepen commercial collaboration with Russian business community. During the meeting, the chamber briefed the Russian trade mission on Sharjah’s business advantages and facilities as well as on the investment opportunities available in various economic sectors. The forum also witnessed bilateral meetings between business owners from the two sides to exchange experiences and explore new avenues to advance their collaboration. Abdulaziz Mohammed Shattaf, Assistant Director-General of the Communication and Business Sector at the Sharjah Chamber, Ibrahim Rashid Al Jarwan, Director of the Economic Relations and Marketing Department, SCCI, and Maksim Zagornov, Business Ambassador of Business Russia to the UAE, attended the meeting. Also present were a number of businessmen, investors, and representatives of the local business community. Abdulaziz Shattaf stressed that the business relations between the UAE and Russia are rapidly growing across various fields, something which has had a significant impact on the volume of trade exchange that reached AED 12 billion in 2021, an increase of 116%. “The UAE accounts for 55% of the total Russian-Gulf trade, and holds 90% of Russia’s total investments in the Arab countries. Additionally, 80% of the total Arab investments in Russia are made by the UAE, while Russian exports to the UAE amounted to AED 10.6 billion. Also, Emirati exports to Russia increased by almost 40% to AED 1.46 billion,” Shattaf said. He went on to say that the mutual economic cooperation covers different strategic sectors, including renewable energy, space, modern technology, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, food security, infrastructure, petrochemicals, ports, and aviation. For his part, Maksim Zagornov said that the …

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Japan to welcome international visitors beginning October 11

The Government of Japan announced a policy of resuming entry by individual travelers for tourism purposes beginning on October 11. JNTO looks forward to welcoming individual inbound travelers back to Japan with the long-awaited lifting of entry restrictions. The resumption of individual travel to Japan and visa waivers, and the elimination of the daily arrival cap will allow international visitors to enjoy Japan in more ways than in the past two-and-a-half years. These measures are long-awaited news for tourists around the world who have been looking forward to visiting Japan. Executive Director of JNTO Dubai office, KOBAYASHI Daisuke shared, “The Middle East is positioned as one of the 22 strategic international markets targeted by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). Since the opening of the JNTO Dubai Office in November 2021, we have been eagerly awaiting, and busy preparing for, the day when international visitors can return to Japan with relaxed entry restrictions. 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and the United Arab Emirates. JNTO Dubai Office will engage in various promotional activities including commemorative events organized by the Japanese diplomatic missions as well as joint campaigns with stakeholders in the region. I am looking forward to seeing as many people as possible from the Middle East visit Japan in the coming months and year.” JNTO President SEINO Satoshi shared, “”The Japanese government has at last announced the resumption of individual travel for tourism purposes, visa waivers, and the elimination of the daily arrival cap. I am incredibly pleased to finally welcome back individual travelers after coping with the pandemic during a wait of    two-and-a-half years. In response to the announcement, JNTO will be doing everything …

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Tourism Malaysia expects ME market to rebound to 2019 levels by 2025

The fifth edition of the Gulf Travel Show kicked off with a special press conference with Mohamed Amirul Rizal, Senior Deputy Director, International Promotion (Asia Africa) Division Tourism Malaysia chairing the press conference. In his opening remarks he welcomed the media for attending the event sharing that this is the fifth consecutive time that Tourism Malaysia participated as Platinum partner with the Gulf Travel Show to network with the travel agents and tour operator partners in the Middle East, especially in the GCC. He also thanked everyone for their dedication and commitment to make Malaysia top of mind destination in the region. He reiterated that entry requirements to Malaysia are now eased, and you can travel hassle free to explore the destination. It is no longer necessary to have pre-departure nor on arrival PCR tests nor have a special covid insurance etc. Instead, he stated that Malaysia is hassle free and everyone is welcome to travel without any quarantine or testing as their vaccination drive including children and retirees hit over 86% hence after two years of stringent border controls now it is time to explore the destination which has a lot more to offer to guests especially from the Middle East/ GCC countries. Connectivity is of utmost importance for all destinations, sharing his thoughts on this, “we work with our airline partners such as, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways etc, at present we are looking at further strengthening our network with SAUDIA, Egypt Air and Air Arabia to have more connectivity to our destination from the Middle East. After the pandemic and the borders opened we received about 23,000 visitors from the Middle East from 1st April 2022, however, we …

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Saudi Arabia is the fastest growing tourism destination in the G20

Saudi is the fastest growing tourism destination in the G20. Saudi Arabia’s exponential sector growth has seen an extraordinary +121% increase from pre-pandemic international tourism levels as recognized by the newly published UNWTO Tourism Barometer. The substantial tourism recovery recognizes not only Saudi’s considerable investment in tourism, but also the country’s pioneering leadership in future-proofing its tourism sector. Saudi was swift in its response to the pandemic and rolled out vaccines to ensure high immunization rates quickly which accelerated the easing of restrictions and the reopening of the country to tourists. The government also implemented several measures aimed at supporting companies and employees working in the tourism sector thereby mitigating the effects of the pandemic. Tourism is a key pillar of Saudi’s transformative Vision 2030 and the country has ambitious goals to ensure that tourism contributes 10% of the country’s GDP by 2030, with one million jobs created along the way. According to the UNWTO Tourism Barometer, the global tourism sector saw international tourist arrivals almost triple from January to July 2022 (+172%) compared to the same period of 2021. This means the sector recovered to almost 60% of pre-pandemic levels. His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Tourism Authority said: “Recognition of Saudi’s achievements in the UNWTO Tourism Barometer is a key milestone in our extraordinary recovery and much of the success lies in our leadership’s multipronged approach to managing the pandemic and accelerating the sector’s pace of recovery. Saudi opened to the world in September 2019 and through continued leadership and commitment, we have made incomparable progress toward realizing our ambitious Vision 2030 tourism goals. We are …

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Germany records 318% increase of traffic in 2022, the GCC is the second largest overseas source market for inbound tourism to Germany

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has revealed the country recorded a 318 per cent increase on overnight stays from Gulf nationals in the first six months of 2022 when compared to the same period last year*. GCC nationals were responsible for more than 335,000 stays in H1 2022, compared with a little less than 81,000 in 2021. Such figures confirm the region’s position as representing the biggest growth from an Asian source market. While tourism numbers may not have returned to pre-pandemic levels yet, the promising growth demonstrates the countries strong recovery as it continues to attract tourists. “The GCC is the top Asian source market, therefore it’s unsurprising with our recent campaigns that there has been such a strong increase,” said Yamina Sofo, director of sales and marketing at the German National Tourist Office, the regional office of GNTB. “Pandemic recovery has long been top of mind and it’s encouraging to see that both longstanding and first-time travellers are increasingly keen to explore everything that Germany has to offer.” Overall, the Asian source markets have recorded a 252.3 per cent increase in overnight visitors, a jump from just over 217,000 to just under 800,000 in 6 months. The surging increase demonstrates a dedication and determination to travel internationally, despite some countries continuing to implement travel restrictions during the first half of the year. To further drive interest in travel to Germany in the remainder of 2022, GNTB has announced the launch of its ‘Feel Good’ campaign, which encompasses a plethora of guiding tips highlighting the country’s eco initiatives that provide conscious tourists with adequate tools and information to reduce their carbon footprint during their travels. A recent survey by D/A, …

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Saudi Arabia calls for greater collaboration at G20 tourism ministerial meeting

The G20 Tourism Ministerial Meeting hosted under the 2022 Indonesian Presidency, brought together Ministers from across the globe under the theme ‘Recover Together, Recover Stronger’ to address key issues arising in the aftermath of the pandemic. Steered by the theme, the G20 Bali Guidelines aim to provide a framework to advance the transformation of the tourism sector through policy action on MSMEs and communities, and focused on three priority issues, Global Health Architecture, Digital Transformation and Sustainable Energy Transition. His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb called on tourism leaders during the Ministerial Meeting to join collaborative efforts to build a more resilient and sustainable future for the sector. Alluding to the importance of public and private partnerships, His Excellency addressed the first meeting of private sector leaders at a G2O Tourism Minister’s Meeting and expressed the importance of co-operation in shaping the future of the sector. Saudi Arabia has a strong history of cross-sector collaboration, it is home to the first regional office of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and last year agreed plans to open the Tourism Academy in Riyadh to empower young people with the skills needed to flourish in the tourism sector. Supporting the recovery of the sector by investing in human capital is a key focus for the Kingdom, further demonstrated by the roll-out of internationally acclaimed Tourism Trailblazer’s program that is investing $100m to train 100,000 young Saudis for different roles across the hospitality industry. In November of this year, the Kingdom will welcome the largest edition of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) which brings together leaders from across the world to discuss and address key priorities affecting the sector. During the …

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DCT Abu Dhabi unveils winter calendar of 180 days of excitement in the emirate

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced its line-up of events for the 2022/2023 winter season, which are set to create excitement and elevate the destination experience of the UAE capital. Revealed during a TV talk show-style launch event, the up-to-date Abu Dhabi Calendar spans 180 days and features extraordinary concerts by regional and international artists, exhilarating sporting and e-sports action, immersive cultural festivals, live interactive family shows, crowd-pleasing concerts, and unmissable theatre, opera and dance performances. Highly anticipated events in the Abu Dhabi Calendar include the live concerts by Sting, Andrea Bocelli and A. R. Rahman, the first NBA Abu Dhabi Games, the return of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week, headlined by UFC 280: OLIVEIRA vs MAKHACHEV, Disney’s The Lion King, and IIFA Awards Abu Dhabi 2023. For rap and global urban music fans, the Wireless Festival makes its Abu Dhabi debut in March 2023. H.E. Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “Abu Dhabi Calendar has an incredible line up of events to thrill and excite our residents and visitors this season. We’re looking forward to sharing Abu Dhabi with the world by playing host to spectacular musical acts and action-packed global sport spectacles that will attract fans and families from across the globe. It’s a jam packed and incredibly diverse agenda of events which promises to connect friends, excite youth and unite families for unforgettable moments they can enjoy at their own pace.” Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, said, “Through our collaboration with DCT Abu Dhabi and the support of our trusted partners, Abu Dhabi will host an action-packed line-up of world-class events …

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St.Petersburg Roadshow concludes in Dubai with great success

St. Petersburg City Tourist Information Bureau and Committee for tourism development of Saint Petersburg organized a very successful roadshow for the travel trade in Dubai. There were 10 partners who conducted B2B sessions with the agents from Dubai and shared information about the destination and their new attractions and programmes especially designed for the GCC clientele.The partners from St.Petersburg included, DMCs, hoteliers, cruise/shipping companies and medical tourism specialists. The roadshow was divided into three main parts, the first was the one on one B2B sessions where the travel trade could spend time and get to know the destination, followed by detailed presentations by the partners. The final part of the event was the grand dinner with authentic St.Petersburg entertainment, which included a ballet performance as well. Ksenia Narvatkina, Chief Specialist of the development department from St. Petersburg City Tourist Information Bureau and Committee for tourism development of Saint Petersburg, shared that they were very excited to showcase the beautiful offerings in their destination and the fact that it was open for visitors from across the globe. The only requirement at present is a negative PCR test 72 hours before flying into the country. She further reiterated that the goal of the event was to promote the potential of St. Petersburg as a world tourist center and to develop partnerships between St. Petersburg tourism enterprises and representatives of tour operators and travel agencies in Dubai. The presentation videos and the great performances took the audience to the destination for a short period of time. Travel trade agents present at the event shared that it was really a great opportunity to meet with partners in one platform and having different DMCs who …

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