The Saudi Tourism Authority and Emirates airline signed an initial pact to boost inbound tourism into the kingdom and attract new segments of travellers across the airline’s extensive global network.
The new agreement aims to capitalise on the airline’s global network of more than 120 cities to draw leisure travellers to visit Saudi Arabia's attractions, Emirates said.
Under the agreement, Emirates and the STA will explore opportunities to collaborate on key initiatives to boost the kingdom’s global tourism competitiveness, including promotional activity and travel trade support across key global source markets to convert interest into bookings and sharing insights around market and customer trends, among other initiatives.
“We have a shared objective to contribute to the kingdom’s broader tourism plans to attract a diverse range of visitors, strengthen awareness of its iconic sites and make them more accessible through enhanced connectivity,” Emirates president Tim Clark said.
“The memorandum of understanding signed between the STA and Emirates airline will enable us to reach over 120 destinations around the world and attract tourists from these destinations to various Saudi destinations,” Fahd Hamidaddin, chief executive and board member of STA, said.
Through the strategic partnership, the airline will also explore opportunities to align its schedules from key source markets in the Emirates network to its gateways in Saudi Arabia, providing greater connectivity and convenience for its passengers and further developing inbound tourism arrivals.
Emirates and the STA will also evaluate ways to enhance the travel experience that cultivates a more supportive visitor infrastructure for those journeying to Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Madinah, the airline’s four gateways.
The partnership is part of the STA's efforts to build a framework of co-operation and integration with its partners in the private sector.
Emirates has developed its operations to Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, Dammam and today operates 53 weekly flights, including A380 services to Jeddah. The airline has also carried more than 25 million passengers to and from the kingdom since the start of its services to the country in 1989.