Saudi Arabia's Tourism Authority (STA) held a roadshow to introduce and promote Saudi Arabia tourism for the second time last year at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul on May 22 (Mon). With the participation of Korean travel agencies, media, and tourism-related organizations, the morning event began with a commemorative speech by Alhasan Aldabbagh, Director of the Saudi Arabian Tourism Authority APAC (Asia Pacific), followed by an introduction to Saudi tourism by Lee Jae-sook, Director of the Korea Office of STA, and a panel discussion with stakeholders.
The discussion continued with questions and answers about tourism in Saudi Arabia and an explanation of the latest situation. Panelists said that Saudi Arabia is one of the safest countries in the world for women, etc., and emphasized that transportation is convenient where train lines are very developed so that anyone could travel comfortably. However, according to Islamic traditional culture, drinking is prohibited, but panelists with one voice expressed their confidence that visiting Saudi Arabia on tour would be a beautiful and enjoyable experience to the extent that drinking would not occur in tourists’ minds.
Also, Ms. Farah Subedar, who was born to an Arabic father and a Korean mother, has appeared with much attention to present the charm of Saudi Arabia's culture and tourists speaking fluent Arabic and Korean at the same time. Korean band group Shinhwa member Mr. Kim Dong-wan came out and explained his interesting experience of traveling to Saudi Arabia supported by a TvN program.
In the afternoon, a travel mart, where Saudi Arabian tourism-related companies and Korean travel agencies meet individually, was separately held. 17 companies from Saudi Arabia including national airlines, hotels, resorts, and travel agencies participated in the mart, and one-on-one business meetings were held with travel agencies such as Mode Tour in Korea.
Through this roadshow, STA pointed out the rich and various charming tour resources such as traditional and cutting-edge sites, diverse natural landscapes, and historical and entertainment culture.
Especially the Gold Triangle which connects three cities, namely, Riyadh, Al-'Ula, and Jeddah, is introduced as the hub of Saudi’s world-class tourist attraction. Surprisingly, a snowy area in the north of Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oasis, a splendid but little-known large-scale coral reef, among various natural environments, many traditional sites, and the six UNESCO World Culture Heritages including a city itself are also presented.
It is stressed that Saudi Arabia consists of various and unique attractions in the fields of nature, history, culture, adventure, and entertainment, and continues to develop tourism such as the creation of a large and stylish theme park and the host of the world’s biggest music festival, MDL Beast, etc.
In addition, it was due that next year, the Red Sea Project would materialize as the Red Sea International Airport and the large-scale resorts will be opened and in full operation.
Back in 2016, Saudi Arabia announced the 'Vision 2030 Project', investing $1 trillion by 2030 to develop each sector of society, such as the construction of Neom City, while investing and developing the tourism industry as a major industry for its 2030 vision. The goal is to increase the share of tourism in Saudi Arabia's GDP from the current 5% to over 10% by 2030.
As part of this, the Saudi Tourism Authority was established for the first time in June 2020, and overseas branches were opened in 11 major countries including Korea the following year. It operates to attract more than 50,000 Korean visitors by 2030.
For more information on tourism in Saudi Arabia, you can contact the ‘visitsaudi.com’ website.