In a landmark event, the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) unveiled the Saudi Summer Program 2024, dubbed “Saudi Summer is Next Door.” Launched by Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Saudi Arabia, the program is set to run for four months across seven destinations, featuring over 550 exceptional tourism products and 150 special offers tailored for families and children.

The program will span Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, Jeddah, Riyadh, the Red Sea, and AlUla, promising a range of activities for various interests, from adventure enthusiasts to those seeking luxury retreats or cultural experiences. This year’s highlights include the return of the Jeddah Season and the introduction of the Aseer Season, both featuring a plethora of family activities and events.

Saudi Summer 2024 will host significant events like the Esports World Cup in Riyadh, an annual eight-week competition featuring top-tier esports athletes, and multiple boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah. These events aim to attract both local and international tourists, enhancing Saudi Arabia’s reputation as a premier global destination.

Strategic vision and industry impact
During the launch event attended by key industry stakeholders, including the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation, Zurab Pololikashvili, emphasised Saudi Arabia’s transformative journey in tourism. He highlighted the Kingdom’s record-breaking tourist numbers, which have positioned Saudi Arabia at the top of the UN World Tourism List and the G20 nations list.

“Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination,” Al Khateeb stated. “The Saudi Summer Program 2024 showcases our rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality. This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking initiatives like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide.”

Saudi woos electric flying taxi company Archer as Gulf rivals vie to be aviation hub

The competition between the countries to become the top hub in the region is leading to big spending, benefiting new companies like Archers. Last month, Archer signed a pact with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office for multi-million dollar investments to speed up planned commercial air taxi operations in the UAE. “Since we made our first several announcements in the UAE that has piqued interest” across the region and especially in Saudi Arabia, said Nikhil Goel, chief commercial officer for Archer.

Enhanced accessibility and promotions
To facilitate travel, Saudi Arabia has made significant efforts to streamline visa processes. The eVisa is now available to citizens of 66 countries, with a 20 per cent reduction in cost. Additionally, the number of weekly flights from Gulf cities to Saudi destinations has increased to 1,100, and a GCC resident visa allows multiple entries and stays of up to 90 days.Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Board Member, Saudi Tourism Authority, highlighted the program’s focus on showcasing Saudi Arabia’s unique climatic, natural, and cultural diversity. “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners. We seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer.”

A call to explore Saudi Arabia
The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” invites tourists to discover the diverse and magical destinations within the Kingdom. The STA aims to empower the private sector by encouraging demand for tourism products and offers that meet the aspirations of tourists from around the world.

As Saudi Arabia continues to expand its hospitality infrastructure, with an additional 25,000 hotel rooms expected this year, the Saudi Summer Program 2024 stands as a testament to the Kingdom’s commitment to becoming a top-tier global tourist destination.

  • Published On May 24, 2024 at 02:07 PM IST

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