DUBAI: As a recovery in Saudi tourism continues, the first quarter of 2022 has witnessed over 130 percent of growth in the sector, compared to pre-pandemic levels, the CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority said during the Arabian Travel Market event.
Fahd Hamidaddin attributed the progress to “the absolute alignment between vision, leadership, resources, and talent.”
Hamidaddin’s remarks came during the panel session on Saudi Arabia’s tourism vision coming of age at the four-day event.
Held in Dubai, the event is set to host more than 20,000 visitors and 1,500 exhibitors from 112 destinations over the four days.
The STA has returned to ATM to build relationships with and attract leading brands and businesses as key partners while showcasing Saudi’s dynamic tourism offering. The CEO revealed that the Kingdom welcomed more than 62 million domestic and international visits and recorded over the last 12 months, making a 72 percent recovery to pre-pandemic levels.
“Saudi is incomparable, in its diversity, rich culture, true Arabian hospitality innate in its people, archaeological sites and unique landscapes. We are a new, pulsating Saudi with a new lifestyle offering designed to satisfy the curious traveler,” he said in a press release.
Speaking about what Saudi has new to offer in 2022, Hamidaddin said: “There is so much that’s new, exciting and inspiring for travelers.”
He gave the example of the Riyadh Season which was celebrated by more than 15 million visitors while the recently launched Jeddah Season received more than 200,000 visitors in its first three days.
“We have four new Michelin-starred chefs opening restaurants in Diriyah this year, and new hotels opening across Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Ula and — later this year — at the Red Sea Project. What Saudi is doing is working and this is not an opportunity to be missed for investors and visitors alike,” Hamidaddin added.