Saudi Tourism Authority aims to welcome 7.5 million Indian tourists by 2030: Alhasan Aldabbagh, ET TravelWorld

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<p><b>Alhasan Aldabbagh, President – APAC Markets, <span class="il">Saudi</span> Tourism Authority</b></p>
Alhasan Aldabbagh, President – APAC Markets, Saudi Tourism Authority

Alhasan Aldabbagh, President – APAC Markets at the Saudi Tourism Authority, highlighted the significant role India plays as an inbound market for Saudi Arabia in an exclusive interview with ETTravelWorld. Aldabbagh expressed optimism about the growth of Indian tourists visiting Saudi, noting a remarkable increase of over 50 per cent in 2023. The number surged from 1 million in the previous year to 1.5 million, setting the stage for Saudi’s ambitious goal of hosting 7.5 million Indian tourists by 2030.

“Our goal now is to make India the #1 inbound market for Saudi and simultaneously position Saudi as the #1 outbound market for Indian travelers,” stated Aldabbagh, emphasising the phenomenal growth and the pivotal role India plays in Saudi Arabia‘s tourism landscape.

Aldabbagh also outlined the strategic outlook for 2024, with a focus on establishing stronger partnerships to elevate the travel experience for Indian visitors. Sustainable and responsible tourism will be at the forefront, aligning with Saudi Arabia’s goal to reach Net Zero by 2060 through renewable energy projects like The Red Sea and NEOM.

In terms of top picks for 2024, Saudi Arabia aims to offer Indian tourists a seamless blend of unmatched luxury and immersive cultural experiences. Boasting 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and over 10,000 archaeological sites, Saudi Arabia offers a range of luxury experiences rooted in its rich heritage. The Red Sea, with its world’s fourth-largest barrier reef system, untouched corals, and ultra-luxe resorts like Six Senses and the upcoming Ritz Carlton Reserve, stands out as a luxury destination. Aldabbagh also highlighted the opening of Sindalah at NEOM in Q1’24, set to be an incomparable island destination.

Recently unveiled experiences include VIA Riyadh in Riyadh and Bujairi Terrace in the historical town of Diriyah, offering unmatched dining, shopping, and entertainment experiences. Aldabbagh encouraged Indians to visit Saudi Arabia from December to March, during the winter season, turning the city into an extravaganza filled with premium shopping experiences, activities, and adventures.

Riyadh Season, one of the world’s largest winter cultural events, hosts over 12 zones and thousands of activities for every kind of traveler, making it an attractive period for Indian tourists.

In conclusion, Aldabbagh expressed excitement about sharing the wonders of Saudi Arabia with Indian travelers, inviting them to discover the true home of Arabia and create lasting memories that transcend borders.

Year-end analysis: Top travel trends that dominated 2023

Travellers flew, took trains, crossed oceans and even went on a trip to space to tick off their bucket list. 2023 was an eventful year, according to Director of Brightsun Travel, Sandeep Arora. Among many that dominated the travel space, eco-friendly experiences, rise in digital nomads, new travel destinations, and food experiences were some of the notable trends topping the charts. Some of these will rule 2024 as well.

  • Published On Dec 29, 2023 at 06:04 PM IST

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