Saudi Tourism Authority and Group sign global agreement to significantly boost tourism numbers

  • The significant partnership will boost inbound travel to Saudi for growing markets, such as China, India, and 20 European countries.
  • The deal is one of the largest-ever global partnerships in STA’s history.
  • The partnership will see Saudi – one of the world’s most dynamic and diverse destinations – promoted on all brands under the Group’s global umbrella, including, Ctrip, Skyscanner, Travix, and MakeMyTrip.

BERLIN, March 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) and Group have announced a significant global partnership, which will drive greater inbound tourists to Saudi Arabia as part of its Vision 2030 program. The joint effort aims to bring over 350 thousand additional tourists to Saudi over the course of the agreement.

STA has established a global partnership with Group, encompassing all brands under its umbrella, including, Ctrip, Qunar, Skyscanner, Travix, and Make My Trip. This partnership is significant, as it coincides with a period of exceptional growth and transformation in the global tourism industry.

The agreement represents one of STA’s largest-ever global partnerships and will see the Saudi brand promoted to a global audience, utilizing Group’s expertise across tech, content creation, and AI development to demonstrate Saudi’s extraordinary tourist offerings strategically showcased to a captive worldwide audience.

The partnership will encompass a variety of initiatives aimed at amplifying media coverage of Saudi Arabia’s tourism expansion, crafting compelling content, harnessing the potential of AI, and leveraging new payment technologies. These efforts are all geared towards maximizing the effectiveness of the partnership.

STA and Group will collaborate to further develop AI travel products and payment solutions. These tools will assist travellers in building itineraries, booking flights, and making seamless payments.

Commenting on the partnership, Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and a Member of the Board, Saudi Tourism Authority, said:

“Our partnership with Group, our largest strategic partnership to date, further demonstrates our commitment to building successful collaborations with global partners to unlock shared value and go beyond traditional marketing. Together, we are leveraging the latest technologies and innovations to boost tourism across Saudi and shape its future.

Saudi’s transformation is happening right now, and we are excited that Group can be a part of its growth, over the next year driving more than 250,000 additional tourists to Saudi.”

Commenting on the agreement, Schubert Lou, COO of said:

“Our team is thrilled to strengthen cooperation with the Saudi Tourism Authority, deepening collaboration across products, technology, and marketing to promote the captivating destinations of Saudi Arabia.

We have previously collaborated on a cross-platform campaign, which doubled product sales targets compared to the same period last year. We will build upon this fruitful partnership with a stronger collaboration and shared focus on customer satisfaction.”

Recent Group data shows there has been a significant increase in bookings for flights, hotels, and attractions to Saudi Arabia across different regions. From Europe and APAC, there has been a 376% and 464% increase in such bookings to Saudi Arabia year-on-year.

Saudi’s tourism sector has achieved a full recovery since the pandemic, with a 56% growth in international arrivals in 2023 compared to 2019 – the highest in the G20. The increase in 2023 was driven by a 65% increase in international tourists, with close to 11 million more inbound tourists compared to 2022, from 16.6 million in 2022 to 27.4 million in 2023.

About Saudi Tourism Authority

Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), launched in June 2020, is committed to marketing Saudi Arabia’s tourism destinations globally and enhancing the destination’s offerings through innovative programs, packages, and business support. Its mission includes developing the country’s unique assets and destinations, participating in industry events, and promoting Saudi Arabia’s destination brand both locally and overseas. STA operates 16 representative offices worldwide, serving 38 countries.

About Group Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising of, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. Across its platforms, Group helps travellers around the world make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services and enables partners to connect their offerings with users through the aggregation of comprehensive travel-related content and resources, and an advanced transaction platform consisting of apps, websites and 24/7 customer service centres. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003 and HKEX in 2021, Group has become one of the best-known travel groups in the world, with the mission “to pursue the perfect trip for a better world”.

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