Focus on generative AI for economic growth at Riyadh tech conference

Focus on generative AI for economic growth at Riyadh tech conference
Focus on generative AI for economic growth at Riyadh tech conference

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JEDDAH: More than 200 exhibitors from 27 countries are taking part in this year’s Jeddah International Travel and Tourism Exhibition, which opened on Sunday.

The three-day trade show brings together national and regional tourism authorities, hoteliers, airlines, tour operators, travel agents and cruise lines.

More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the exhibition, which Maya Halfawi, head of the organizing committee, said “presented a new vision for the tourism sector.”

As well as a host of local representatives, including companies from AlUla, there will be exhibitors from Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Turkiye, Malaysia, South Korea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Chad, Mauritius, Cyprus, Hungary and Georgia.

Egypt’s Vice Minister for Tourism Ghada Shalaby said Saudi Arabia was a key market for Egyptian tourism and that her country was hoping to attract 30 million visitors by 2028.

“The number of tourists in Egypt reached 15 million by the end of 2023 for the first time ever,” she said.

There was a similar message from Datuk Musa Haji Yusof, deputy director-general of promotion at Tourism Malaysia.

He said the Southeast Asian country attracted more than 38,000 tourists from Saudi Arabia last year and “aims to welcome more in 2024.”

“We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate and cooperate with some of the best industry players such as Saudi Arabia. We anticipate a substantial increase in arrivals from Saudi Arabia this year.”

Sangyong Lim, deputy director of the Korea Tourism Organization, told Arab News that his country was becoming a popular choice for Saudi tourists.

“Because of new direct flights, the number of Saudi tourists has been increasing, as they come for tourism or medical or entertainment or education.

“We are here to promote Korea with our newly updated offers and hope we will see more Saudis coming to enjoy our beautiful land.”

Also at the show, Cruise Saudi Co., which is owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, introduced its first product, Aroya Cruises, which is set to welcome its first guests later this year.

Turki Qari, executive director of marketing, said the company wanted to introduce cruise ship passengers to destinations along the Saudi coast that had never before been seen by international tourists.

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