Saudi Tourism Authority launches its summer programme for 2024

World Tuesday 21/May/2024 15:14 PM
Saudi Tourism Authority launches its summer programme for 2024

Riyadh: In an event held under the patronage of the Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), Ahmed Al Khateeb, the STA launched the country’s summer programme for 2024, “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”

The programme will run for four months until the end of September across seven destinations and includes over 550 tourism products and more than 150 special offers and packages curated for families and children across different segments such as adventure lovers, those seeking luxury retreats, and culture and heritage enthusiasts.

The Saudi Summer Programme 2024 launch event was attended by World Tourism Organisation Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, over 250 key strategic partners from the public and private sectors, significant media, and key opinion leaders.

The summer programme will take place in seven destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea (a new destination), Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla. This year, the programme will also see the return of the Jeddah Season and the launch of the Aseer Season, featuring numerous family activities and events.

Saudi Arabia has a lineup of major events as part of the summer programme, notably the Esports World Cup in Riyadh, being held for the first time, an annual eight-week competition featuring the world’s most elite esports athletes, and multiple boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

At the event, Al Khateeb highlighted global tourism trends, the growth seen by the Kingdom in the tourism sector, and the record-breaking numbers of incoming tourists, resulting in Saudi Arabia topping the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

Al Khateeb stated, "Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Programme 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers.”

He added, “We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations and take advantage of the exceptional offers and packages designed to create unforgettable memories. This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide. We look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe to explore and enjoy the vibrant experiences that await them this summer."

Pololikashvili said, “Saudi tourism is witnessing unparalleled development at all levels, achieving great leaps in recent years, which I witnessed during my multiple visits to this hospitable country. Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

He added, “All of these great achievements for Saudi tourism would not have been possible without proper planning by those in charge of the sector in the Kingdom and the great potential it possesses in terms of diverse climates, stunning natural landmarks, and the generosity of Saudi people who are distinguished by their hospitality, raising the ceiling of ambitions for new achievements.”

STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin commented, “While temperatures in the region rise to high levels during summer, temperatures in the highlands of Saudi Arabia in the southern region decrease to the extent that we even witnessed snowfall in Al Soudah yesterday. Through the promotional campaign for the Saudi Summer Programme 2024, we seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations and their climatic, natural, and cultural diversity, along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer.”

He added, “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners, which include attractive offers from hotels, airlines offering free tickets for children in partnership with major travel, tourism, and aviation companies, and exceptional products in the Aseer Season and Jeddah Season like tax-free shopping offers and many new and exciting experiences such as private beaches for tourists and ladies’ beaches.”

The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” embodies an open invitation to explore the magic of Saudi destinations and their diversity. This diversity is expressed with simple words that reflect the uniqueness of each destination, such as “Closer,” “Cooler,” “More Beautiful,” and “More Affordable.”

The private sector is a key partner in the success of tourism programs and initiatives, and the Saudi Tourism Authority is keen to empower it by encouraging demand for products and offers that meet the aspirations of tourists from all over the world.

The launch of the Saudi Summer Programme 2024 comes at a time when visiting Saudi Arabia has become easier, smoother, and safer through efforts like making the eVisa available to citizens of 66 countries, reducing the total price of the eVisa by 20%, and increasing the number of weekly flights from Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations to 1,100.

GCC residents can take advantage of the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in Saudi Arabia during a year. Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of hotel rooms available to travellers, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.