World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is delighted to welcome representation from Saudi Arabia on to the exhibition floor for the first time this year, as the Saudi government unveils plans to invest heavily into its tourism industry over the next decade.
Representation from The Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA), along with the country’s national airline Saudi Airlines and flynas, the leading low cost Saudi airline offering cheap flights to the Middle East, Europe and Asia will all be exhibiting at WTM in London from the 3 – 6 November 2014.
Last year WTM facilitated business deals worth more than £2.2 billion – with Middle Eastern exhibitors benefiting from £144 million of business. This was generated through contracts signed with WTM Buyers’ Club members at the event or from further negotiations, which will conclude before WTM 2014.
The plan for the Saudi government to invest over £18 billion in tourism from 2013 to 2023 was reported last year in a MENA tourism and hospitality report by research consultancy Aranca. Their main objectives are to provide employment opportunities for the many Saudi graduates and cope with the increasing number of visitors, which is estimated to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2% to 21.3 million over the next decade.
The SCTA recently announced its £1.85 million plan to set-up tourist information centres across the country that provides information on domestic events.
Ramadan festivals have just been held in several regions around Saudi, with the country witnessing an upward trend in domestic tourism. The SCTA reporting a 25% increase in domestic trips in the Kingdom from 19 million in 2012 to 23.8 million trips being made last year.
Hamad A Alsheikh, VP for Marketing and Programs at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) comments on their main reasons for being at WTM for the first time this year: “Saudi aims to highlight the historic potentials of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a crossroad of civilizations through displaying part of its history, heritage, achievements and tourism potentials by way of print material and direct communication.
“We plan to highlight and introduce the existing tourism investments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in different fields, especially in the convention and exhibition sector and accommodation sector, in addition to other tourism and investment areas.”
World Travel Market Senior Exhibition Director Simon Press said: “I am delighted to see Saudi at World Travel Market this year for the first time; it’s great that the government has put the spotlight on tourism within the Kingdom and can see the huge potential and benefits it is likely to reap.
“I am confident that WTM will aid Saudi with their ambitious plans, and ensure plenty of networking and business deals are facilitated over the four days of the event.”
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About World Travel Market
World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.
WTM, now in its 35th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals.
WTM 2013 generated more than £2 billion of travel industry contracts, revealed independent research by Fusion Communications.
WTM is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions (RE), which organises a other portfolio’s of travel industry events including IBTM Events, the world’s leading showcases for the meetings and events industry and International Luxury Travel Market events.
In 2013, RE held more than 500 events in 40 countries bringing together more than six million people from around the world generating billions of dollars in business.
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry, with a wide-ranging portfolio of 21 international events in 14 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa.
Its market-leading, business-to-business events cover all elements of travel and tourism, including leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, events, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE is part of Reed Exhibitions.