To achieve targets, STA will open nine dedicated visa centres in India this month
India is a key source market for Saudi, essential to its goal of achieving 100 million annual visits by 2030.
In line with the Saudi’s Vision 2030, Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has strengthened its commitment to driving awareness about the country’s tourism and hospitality offering to the Indian market.
The delegation's visit to India earlier this month featured a range of meetings, industry round-tables and networking events including participation at the One World Travel Market in Mumbai (OTM) and the South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) in Delhi.
This was followed with two roadshows in Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has also, commenced an official partnership with the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) at an event held in Mumbai last week.
STA held more than 3,000 meetings with leading trade partners and travel buyers to promote Saudi as a holiday destination. They also shared insights around the growing trends of MICE tourism and budget travel.
Speaking about his recent visit to India, Saudi Tourism Authority APAC president Alhasan Aldabbagh said: “We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from our partners here and STA is committed to investing, learning and working closely with them to ensure our product offerings are attractive for the Indian market.
"These engagements are important in helping us achieve ambitious goals and drive visitation numbers from India to Saudi. Last year, we saw 1 million visitors, which has encouraged us to become ambitious about doubling the figures from this region this year.
"India, we believe, will be the number one tourism source market for us in 2030 as we aim to welcome more than 12 million visitors by then."
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Saudi is home to six UNESCO world heritage sites and more than 10,000 archaeological sites, including historical places such as Al Balad in Jeddah and Turaif in Diriyah – the birthplace of Saudi.
Recently, STA launched the 96-hour Stopover Visa with a one-night complimentary hotel stay open to all leisure, business and religious travellers flying on Saudia and Flynas.
For more information, visit www.sta.gov.sa/en/home