Saudi deputy FM, UK minister discuss travel scheme for Saudi visitors

Saudi deputy FM, UK minister discuss travel scheme for Saudi visitors
Saudi deputy FM, UK minister discuss travel scheme for Saudi visitors

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JEDDAH: Organizers of the Jeddah International Travel and Tourism Exhibition are planning to focus on business-to-business events for next year’s edition, after the recently concluded trade show geared their activities on the consumer end of the market.

Maya Halfawi, the head of the organizing committee, said: “We are planning a larger fair for next year with increased participation, and we intend to focus on the B2B exhibition for the next edition.”

More than 200 exhibitors from 27 countries took part in this year’s Jeddah International Travel and Tourism Exhibition, which ended on Tuesday.

The three-day event brought together national and regional tourism authorities, hoteliers, airlines, tour operators, travel agents and cruise lines, drawing more than 27,000 visitors.

Exhibitors marketed destinations through traditional costumes, dance and cuisine, such as dates from Tunisia, baklava from Turkiye and chocolate from Kazakhstan.

Halfawi said that the final day of the event took on a festive atmosphere, with visitors seeking travel information, including special summer packages, visa processes and guides.

She said that the event served as a platform for local, regional, and international exhibitors to showcase destinations to Saudi visitors and establish commercial ties in the sector.

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

The exhibition saw a significant turnout from both Saudi and foreign families, many of whom discovered special offers for their upcoming summer holidays.

Samar Al-Zahrani, along with her son and daughter, visited the fair from Makkah. She said: “My kids are eager to visit Thailand for their summer vacation, which is why we have come here to gather more information.

“It’s fantastic to find all the information in one place, and there’s even a one-stop travel service available here. With the comprehensive details we’ve received, including preferred destinations, I believe we’ll be well prepared for a new adventure this summer,” she added.

Saad Al-Hamrani, another visitor, said: “My wife and I are here, and we’ve selected a travel package for a trip to the Balkans, specifically to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We plan to reach out to them later once we’ve organized our budget.”

This year, countries including Vietnam, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan and Hungary made their debut at the exhibition.

Organizers also arranged various programs for the exhibition, including cultural events, seminars and tourism workshops, along with business-to-business meetings.

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

Turki Qari, the company’s executive director of marketing, said that cruise passengers will travel to destinations along the Saudi coast that have had little exposure to international tourism.

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