NEW DELHI: Saudi tourism authorities and stakeholders showcased on Thursday the Kingdom’s travel potential at India’s biggest industry exhibition in their ongoing roadshow to draw visitors from the South Asian country.
Since the beginning of February, the Saudi Tourism Authority has been participating in a series of travel and trade events across India, including the One World Travel Market in Mumbai and the South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange, which runs in Noida in the Indian capital region from Feb. 9 through Feb. 11.
The roadshow is expected to provide a platform for industry players to engage directly with Saudi stakeholders, as developing tourism in the Kingdom is part of its Vision 2030 to establish a thriving economy through diversification.
The STA, a government body promoting the Saudi travel and hospitality sector, aims to deepen relations with India, its fourth-largest trading partner, which it said has been a “key source market” over the past 18 months.
“The strategy follows Saudi Tourism Authority’s (STA) ongoing efforts to increase awareness about Saudi as a unique, diverse, authentic tourism destination and ultimately, drive visits, as one of the key priority source markets for the country,” the STA said in a statement on Thursday.
The current engagements with India, it said, are critical in helping the authority achieve its goals and “drive volume and growth.”
At the South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange — Asia’s leading platform for the tourism and hospitality industry — the STA established a huge pavilion promoting not only traditional religious tourism destinations like Makkah and Madinah but also the Kingdom’s ancient sites and futuristic projects.
“We see lots of potential in the South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange and in the Indian market. We see the Indian market as important for us,” Elodie Azar, deputy general manager of Saudi-based travel operator Kurban Tours, told Arab News.
“We get lots of queries regarding Saudi Arabia and how they can send clientele from India to Saudi Arabia. We have both kinds of people — those who want to come for Hajj and those who want to come for leisure.”
Another Saudi participant in the exhibition, Kizan Tourism, came to present its offer at the South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange as it is one of the world’s largest tourism shows.
“Our expectation is that we will receive the largest number of visitors by participating in this event,” the tour operator’s representative, Faisal Al-Essa, told Arab News.
“We expect to connect with other businesses based in India and grow the Saudi tourism market through this connection and platforms.”