ITB Asia News 2020 - Review Edition

cleverdis

REVIEW

FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 2020

CONFIDENCE

ON THE RISE

RESOUNDING SUCCESS OF ITB

ASIA 2020 VIRTUAL SIGNALS

RESILIENCE AND LONG-TERM

OPTIMISM OF TRAVEL INDUSTRY

PROFESSIONALS

NEWS

#03

REIMAGINING

EVENTS IN

SINGAPORE…

AND BEYOND

#06

EXCLUSIVE

INTERVIEW

KATRINA LEUNG

Managing Director,

Messe Berlin

(Singapore)

EXHIBITORS

#10

SAUDI TOURISM:

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE

SECTORS WORKING

HAND IN HAND


I NEWS I

EDITORIAL

Richard Barnes

Editor-in-Chief,

ITB Asia News

ITB Asia 2020 Virtual: taking the lead in turbulent times

ITB Asia, “Asia’s Leading Travel Trade Show”,

successfully concluded last week, rounding off

the first virtual event in its 13-year history.

Over three days, the event welcomed over

35,000 travel professionals from around

the world who participated in the show’s

vibrant agenda of conference and networking

sessions, supported by world leaders and

leading destinations. With the virtual platform

providing the perfect space for networking,

attendees also took part in online business

appointments, fuelling confidence in the

industry’s future.

The organisers can be rightfully proud that as the

leading travel trade show in Asia, they are playing

their part in creating a close-knit community who

support one another not only through the good

times, but also in the more difficult ones. These

past three days have been a testament to the

resilience of all those in the travel and tourism

sector in Asia, with industry leaders coming

together, united by a common purpose of paving

the way forward in the face of the new normal.

Themed “Reinventing Travel in the New Normal”,

ITB Asia 2020’s virtual conference saw more

than 160 top speakers from major global brands

lead more than 100 conference sessions. This

year’s conferences focused on helping travel

industry professionals reinvent traditional

business models to adapt to current times and

prepare for the industry’s recovery.

Next year’s edition will be a hybrid show featuring

a live and an online model to facilitate continuous

engagement with industry stakeholders.

Scheduled to take place in Singapore from 27-

29 October 2021, the live segment of the event

hopes to bring back human connections through

face-to face business meetings and networking

sessions

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The future of hybrid

events in pandemic

times

During a series of talks entitled "Reimagining Association

Events", panelists Helmut Schwägermann, Prof. em., Osnabrück

University of Applied Sciences, Mike Lee, Vice President of

Sales, Marina Bay Sands and Stephane Talboom, Director of

Sales, K.I.T. Group debated over the necessity to host hybrid

events.

With the pandemic, hybrid or fullvirtual

events are the new mantra

as physical relations are almost

impossible for now. But will it last

forever? The question was raised

during a session presented by K.I.T.

Group and Marina Bay Sands in

partnership with ITB Asia.

For Stephane Talboom, the

assessment of conducting a hybrid

event is essential. "We must evaluate

if the hybrid event fits into a strategy

and assess its costs, because it

requires virtual exhibition experts but

also communication and technology

experts, as well as strong content and

a strong panel to attract followers," he

explained.

Hybrid is perceived as a good way

to attract a bigger audience as a

real conference might see delegate

numbers clipped for health safety. "A

conference could be limited to 500

or 1,000 delegates. Bringing a hybrid

solution would help expand its global

appeal, and it can help in reducing

the carbon footprint," said Mike Lee,

VP Sales, Marina Bay Sands.

Working out the content of the

conference is crucial. "The use of

3D technology and various digital

techniques from a broadcast

studio should capture participants'

imagination", added Lee.

5G technology and augmented

reality will further improve the layout

of hybrid events. But there is still a

strong desire to meet physically.

According to Talboom, building trust

among partners requires physical

contact. A recent survey found 63%

of business people would prefer a

physical contact rather than going

virtual. "Hybrid" is for now the magic

formula

2 ITB ASIA NEWS • FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 2020

www.itb-asia-news.com


I NEWS I

Lasting changes

in the new normal

for travel

Downtown Singapore

During an ITB Asia 2020 Virtual conference session, Axel

Hefer, CEO of trivago, shared his vision of the future shape of

travel in a post-COVID-19 world.

For Hefer, family travel was the

first segment to recover in most

markets around the world. But

travel habits had profoundly

changed. "Tourism became driven

by close-by, driving-distance trips.

Urban tourism also came under

pressure as city destinations

faced more restrictions and less

activities," he explained.

What could the future look like?

For Hefer, city trips will bounce

back as soon as a vaccine will

be made available for the world.

However, the trivago CEO

believes two sectors will face

difficulties in recovering any time

soon: intercontinental travel and

business travel.

"Intercontinental travel is not only

suffering from weak demand, but

it is also affected by supply issues.

It will indeed take some time for

airline networks to rise back to

their old strength if they ever come

back," Hefer said.

Axel Hefer

CEO, trivago

Business travel is unlikely to regain

its status and Hefer predicts a

permanent reduction in business

travel volumes. "Unlike in previous

recessions, where business travel

recovered, improved technology

changed the picture. Companies

discovered that they can become

very productive without being in

the same space. That will generate

fewer reasons to travel," he said.

Consolidation of the travel industry

will certainly shape the future of

the industry. Hotels in metropolises

will be confronted with oversupply.

They will need to find innovative

ways to manage their portfolio

more efficiently.

The push of big e-commerce

and digital platforms such as

Google and Amazon can only

be considered an asset if they

foster innovation. "If they are

seen at hindering progress, then

state regulation will come," he

concluded

Beyond COVID-19:

tourism transformed

in Singapore

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is leveraging

Augmented Reality as well as building analysis and

data capacities to help the local industry withstand

challenging times.

Acting Singapore Tourism

Board CEO, Poh Chi Chuan,

agrees with his Prime Minister,

Lee Hsien Loong, that the

COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis of

a generation: "It will have longterm

implications on our life,"

he explained at ITB Asia 2020

Virtual's digital conference.

Pessimism, however, is not

STB's mantra. The organisation

considers the crisis an

opportunity to boost the digital

age for the travel industry,

leading changes with new

initiatives. "Our objective is to

help and prepare the tourism

industry for this new world," said

Chuan.

To face the main paradigm shift

of getting from a contact-centric

tourism to a digital one for the

time being, STB is launching

three initiatives.

Augmented Reality (AR)

technology is being launched

over the coming month to

leverage digital content. "The

technology does not require

much investment. Our in-house

developers are working to turn

into AR 1,000 items related to

our Singapore icons, cultural

assets and our heritage. An AR

curriculum will also be taught

at tech college," the STB acting

CEO said.

A second initiative is to enhance

industry capacity to evaluation

and ultimately transformation;

The "Tourism Transformation

Index TXI" is a self-diagnostic

tool for companies to assess

their strength by analysing

customers' behaviour. It will

also help companies to know

how they fare in answering

customers' wishes and where

there is a need to improve.

Launched last April, STAN

(Singapore Tourism Analytics

Network) capacities will be

further enhanced with new

analysis features. An e-learning

platform is also being developed

to "help tourism stakeholders

better understand the value of

data," stressed Chuan

ITB ASIA NEWS • FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 2020 3


I ON-DEMAND CONFERENCE I

ON-DEMAND

CONFERENCE

MICE DESTINATIONS TALKS

More details, click here

WORLDWIDE

Unlocking Possibilities with CVBs

Lesley Williams, Managing Director, BestCities Global Alliance

Jessica Chang, Director North Asia, Melbourne Convention Bureau

(MCB)

Christopher Zhang, Managing Director, PTC Express Travel

SOUTHEAST ASIA & INDOCHINA

Philippine MICE: Innovations and Best Practices

Jing Lagandaon, Chairman, PACEOS – Philippine Association of

Convention / Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers, COO, Global-Link

MP Events International Inc.

Agnes Pacis, VP, PACEOS, VP and General Manager, SMX Convention

Center

Maria Anthonette C. Velasco-Allones, COO, Tourism Promotions

Board

INDIA & SOUTH ASIA

Talk 1: The Future of MICE in India

S. Balasubramanian, President, IEIA – Indian Exhibition Industry

Association

INDIA & SOUTH ASIA

Talk 2: Post-COVID-19 Tourism & MICE Industry

Recovery

Kimarli Fernando, Chairman, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB)

Dr. Susie Perera De Silva, Deputy Director General – Public Health

Services, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka

Dileep Mudadeniya, CEO, Cinnamon Life, Vice President, John Keels

Group (moderator)

NORTH ASIA

The Outlook of MICE Travel in China’s Market

Kris Van Goethem, Managing Director, MICE, Leisure & Sport,

Thomas Cook China

Olivia Chen, CMO, Thomas Cook China

OCEANIA

Talk 1: Melbourne’s Innovation and Pursuit of

Connection: Differentiation on the Road to

Recovery and Growth

Julia Swanson, CEO, Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB)

Peter King, CEO, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

(MCEC)

OCEANIA

Talk 2: The Future of Business Events: Recovery,

Resilience, and Innovation

Anna Hayward, Head of Auckland Convention Bureau, Auckland

Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED)

Barbara Maple, President, Barbara Maple & Associates, Chair,

Auckland International Business Events Advisory Group (Moderator)

Steve Armitage, General Manager – Destination, Auckland Tourism,

Events and Economic Development (ATEED)

Lisa Gardiner, Global Manager Business Events, Tourism New

Zealand

EUROPE & AMERICA

Talk 1: What’s Next in the Constantly Changing

Business Events Industry

Matthias Schultze, Managing Director, German Convention Bureau

(GCB)

EUROPE & AMERICA

Talk 2: Regional Diversity as a Key to the Global

Competitiveness of the Destination in Post

Pandemic Era

Alexey Kalachev, CEO, Russian Convention Bureau (RCB)

Alexander Porodnov, CEO, ANO “Investment Promotion Agency of

the Sverdlovsk Region”

Pavel Mayorov, CEO, Krasnodar Region Development Corporation

NJSC

AFRICA

The Future of Incentive Travel in Africa: The

Barriers & Opportunities

Tes Proos, President, SITE Africa

Corné Koch, Head, Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau

Frank Murangwa, Director of Destination Marketing, Rwanda

Convention Bureau

Jillian Blackbeard, CEO, The Victoria Falls Regional Association

TOURS & ACTIVITIES

More details, click here

INDIA & SOUTH ASIA

Talk 1: The Road Ahead in the New Normal &

Emerging Travel Trends

Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel

INDIA & SOUTH ASIA

Talk 2: Destination Storytelling in India

Vijay Prabhat Kamalakara, Founder & CEO, Storytrails

NORTH ASIA

Talk 1: The Outlook for Tours & Activities in

China’s Market

Brian Bergey, CEO & Co-Founder, Lost Plate Food Tours

NORTH ASIA

Talk 2: Pre- and Post-COVID-19 Comparison of the

South Korean Travel Industry

Donggun Lee, Founder & CEO, MyRealTrip

NaeYoung (Sophia) Kwon, Business Development Lead –

Experiences, MyRealTrip

Baromi Kim, Business Development Lead – Key Accounts,

MyRealTrip

NORTH ASIA

Talk 3: Trends in Japan: Before COVID and After

COVID

Takahiro Noguchi, CEO, Beauty of Japan

EUROPE & AMERICA

Talk 1: The Pivot to Virtual and the Transformation

of Tours & Activities

Stephen Oddo, CEO & Co-Founder, Walks

EUROPE & AMERICA

Talk 2: Making Decisions During a Pandemic

Simone Gozzi, CEO & Co-Founder, City Wonders

DESTINATION MARKETING

More details, click here

The Marketing Gurus:

The New Normal in Destination Marketing: Insight

and Case Studies from the Front

Anna Au-Yeung, Global Head of Destination Marketing, Travelport

Sean Keliiholokai, Vice President Business Development, West

Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board

Tolene van der Merwe, Director – UK & Ireland, Malta Tourism

Authority

4 ITB ASIA NEWS • FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 2020

www.itb-asia-news.com


I ON-DEMAND CONFERENCE I

The Marketing Gurus:

Destination Marketing Strategy Checklist:

How Data Plays a Critical Role in Today Travel

Marketing

Rochelle Chhaya, COO, OMD APAC

Maunik Thacker, Senior Vice President – Marketing, Marina Bay

Sands

The Marketing Gurus:

WeChat Marketing: A Complete Guide for

Overseas Travel Brands

Jiang Ting, Founder, Bridge86 & WeChat4Travel

The Marketing Gurus:

Marketing to Gen Z: What’s Next in Youth Travel?

Reene Ho-Phang, Founder & Managing Director, BrandStory Asia

The Marketing Gurus:

How to Create the Right Stories at the Right Time

to Reach Out to an Audience Dreaming of Travel

Nicola Eliot, Vice President, BBC StoryWorks APAC, BBC Global News

Anne Banas, Editor, BBC Travel, BBC Global News

The Marketing Gurus:

Rebounds and Revenge Travel

Martin Stoll, CEO, Sparkloft Media

The Marketing Gurus:

The New Storytelling Strategies for Destinations

in The Changing Social Media Landscape

Jonathan Sloan, EVP, Europe and Middle East Strategy, MMGY Global

Victoria Sanders, Director Travel, News UK

Nick Evans, Social and Digital Director, MMGY Hills Balfour

The Marketing Gurus:

Influencer Marketing and Social Media

Management for the Travel Industry

Kelly Beckwith, Co-Founder & Director, The Asia Collective

The Marketing Gurus:

Crisis Communications: Marketing a Destination

Amidst COVID-19

Elan Shou, APAC CEO, Ruder Finn Asia

The Marketing Gurus: Reimagining the Tours &

Activities Value Chain

Matthew Barker, Founder and CEO, Horizon Guides

The Marketing Gurus:

Reimagining Destinations for the Post-COVID

Travellers

Jake Haupert, Co-Founder & Chairman of Board, Transformational

Travel Council

Brian T. Mullis, Board Member, Transformational Travel Council

Joe Pine, Co-Founder, Strategic Horizons LLP, Strategic Thought

Leader, Stone Mantel, Lecturer (Part-time), Columbia University

School of Professional Studies

Anna Pollock, Founder, Conscious.Travel

HOTEL REVENUE

DISTRIBUTION SUMMIT

More details, click here

Can Hotels Save the Planet? Rethinking Hotel

Designs With Mother Nature in Mind

Clint Nagata, Founder & Creative Partner, BLINK Design Group

Guy Heywood, COO, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Allen Kerton, Design Principal & Partner, Coopers Hill

The Key to Recovery is Guest Satisfaction – Learn

How to Turn Detractors into Promoters

Benjamin Jost, Co-Founder & CEO, TrustYou

Steffen Wenz, CTO, TrustYou

How Revenue Management Has Evolved and

Where It is Today

Omkar Sen, Chief Revenue Officer, ZEN Rooms

Trends Hoteliers Need to Consider

Maria Taylor, Head of Hospitality, Asia Pacific, Amadeus

The Travel Journey – Past, Present and Future

Patrick Andres, Regional Vice President, Oracle Hospitality

The Future of Short-Term Vacation Rentals

Quirin Schwaighofer, Co-CEO & Co-Founder, MadeComfy

Moving Forward in the Midst of Crisis

Fenady Uriarte, Business Development Manager, South East Asia, STR

Leverage Big Data and Analytics to Predict Future

Market Demand

Amit Peshawaria, Head, Asia Pacific & Oceania, OTA Insight

Adapting for the Future of Hospitality

Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (Excluding Greater China),

Marriott International

PARTNER'S SESSIONS

More details, click here

Conference Partner’s Session:

What’s Next for Cruise?

Jiali Wong, Regional Manager, Asia, Cruise Lines International

Association (CLIA)

Conference Partner’s Session:

What Does It Mean to “Build Back Better”?

Introducing the Future of Tourism Coalition

Natasha Martin, Founder, Good Tourism (moderator)

Jeremy Sampson, CEO, The Travel Foundation

Jens Thraenhart, CEO, Mekong Tourism

Albert Salman, President, Green Destination

Conference Partner’s Session:

ASEAN Travel Readiness

Fazal Bahardeen, Founder & CEO, CrescentRating, CEO, HalalTrip

Raudha Zaini, Strategic Partnerships & Projects Lead, HalalTrip

Barkathunnisha Abu Bakar, Founder, Elevated Consultancy &

Training, Director, World Women Tourism, Associate, Murdoch

University (Singapore)

Nagesh Jaladi, Head of Retail and Commerce, Asia Pacific,

Mastercard

ITB ASIA NEWS • FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 2020 5




I EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW I

ITB Community hosted the 2020 virtual version of ITB Asia, and will continue to

provide a virtual space where travel buyers, sellers, media, and trade professionals

alike can come together to access all of the latest information about the travel

industry. We asked Katrina Leung, Managing Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), to

tell us more about the community.

Towards virtual and hybrid

events for a new dynamic

Exclusive interview: Katrina Leung, Managing Director of

Messe Berlin (Singapore)

Katrina Leung

Managing Director

of Messe Berlin (Singapore),

the organiser of ITB Asia

We have been delighted with

the enrolment of more than

35,000 members in this newly

launched exclusive platform.

Being one of the first of its kind

to be implemented in Asia’s

travel industry, the platform has

seen an overwhelming positive

response and engagement. We

hope to welcome even more

users as it becomes integrated

in our everyday lives in the new

normal.

Why was it so important to run

an event such as this under the

current circumstances?

As Asia’s leading travel trade

show, we saw the need for the

travel industry to band together

with regulators and partners

to strengthen confidence and

build resilience during this

extraordinary time. The virtual

event aimed to adapt and serve

the travel trade community as

many look up to us for direction.

It has raised best practices and

content for the travel trade,

and has helped us rethink how

we can ensure the continuity

of our annual show. With

technology now playing an

even bigger part in our lives,

this gave us the opportunity

to demonstrate our agility and

ability to innovate. Going virtual

was a way for us to continue

providing businesses in the

industry a platform to connect

– uniting and enabling business

meetings to take place for a

seamless knowledge exchange.

It also set an example of how

digital disruption can benefit

the industry and revolutionise

travel.

Would you say you achieved

your goals?

Yes. Our goals were to: bring

back the chance to connect

and reconnect buyers, sellers

and industry professionals;

provide the travel industry with

a year-round engagement

for business, networking and

learning; and unite travel

professionals and world leaders

to rethink strategies and explore

innovative solutions to build a

more resilient travel industry as a

whole, with the comprehensive

conference agenda.

How challenging has it been to

organise this year’s event?

As with organising any event,

the challenge is to ensure a

seamless attendee experience.

This year, the new challenge has

been to adapt to the new normal

– where the travel industry

had to quickly pivot to a new

event model – virtual. Moving

forward, hybrid event models

will be the standard, to include

both mediums of engagement

-- physical and virtual -- at

future exhibitions. As the

industry continues on the path

of recovery, this could also

signify increased opportunities,

where businesses previously

unable to, will be able to connect

with one another with the

introduction of virtual access at

exhibitions

What are the plans for 2021?

ITB Community will continue to

host a series of virtual events

to engage the marketplace all

year round. Travel Meet Asia is a

series of virtual events covering

different parts of Asia to serve

as a value-add to the industry’s

efforts of attendee engagement.

The first Travel Meet Asia -

South Asia event will be held on

9 & 10 December 2020.

ITB Asia 2021 will go hybrid –

live event + virtual component

to provide an all-rounded event

experience like none other. For

ITB Asia 2021 live event, we

have already booked more than

40% of our exhibition space.

In the meantime, the platform

will continue to incorporate and

make available content and

resources, which include various

features to enable business

meetings and allow knowledge

exchange. These include

integrated business matching

and communication tools, such

as a messaging board, forums,

focused groups, live chat, and

video call functions

8 ITB ASIA NEWS • FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 2020

www.itb-asia-news.com


I EXHIBITORS I

MOSCOW ADJUSTS

TOURISM STRATEGY IN

THE NEW NORMAL

In today's unusual times, new conditions dictate new

rules. Consequently, Moscow City Tourism Committee has

adjusted its strategy and moved its main tourism projects

online.

MOSCOW TRAVEL HUB

Moscow Travel Hub is a platform which engages

representatives of the Moscow tourism and hospitality

industry who are interested in creating and developing

new products and services. The main aim of the hub is to

provide conditions for the creation of new products and

services, developing a collaboration and implementation

of new technologies in the tourism industry.

Sentosa - more than ever

a one-stop-shop for MICE

and "bleisure" tourism

Sentosa’s strategic location, accessibility and array of unique offerings

make it a highly attractive one-stop shop for unconventional MICE

experiences. The 2018 Bloomberg New Economy Forum and USA-

DPRK Singapore Summit further showcased Sentosa’s excellent

“turnkey” capabilities in hosting high-stature events.

With talks underway in Singapore to

establish additional “green lanes” for

regional travel and the MICE industry

starting to reopen, the Sentosa

Development Corporation is teaming

with the Singapore Tourism Board to trial

new leisure aspects for B2B events.

Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC)

is a government statutory board that

oversees the development, management

and promotion of Sentosa as a resort

destination.

SDC has been working with STB through

its list of pilot events to layout a framework

for safe events on Sentosa. In August,

SDC piloted Singapore’s first event since

COVID-19 hit the world. The organisation

has had to re-imagine MICE events

through SAFE itineraries. The pilot has

been a great success, showcasing how

events in Singapore and in Sentosa can

safely resume with the right measures in

place.

Some of these measures include low

contact leisure activities, staggering

groups of delegates to minimise crossmingling

and choosing dinner venues

with care, taking advantage of Sentosa’s

USPs – the outdoors – to provide a great

ambience while keeping everyone safe.

Sentosa is a unique “island-in-thecity”

for holidaymakers and business

travellers, with diverse and unique leisure

experiences all in one place, easily

accessible from the central business

district and via public transport.

Attracting some 19 million Singaporeans

and tourists annually, the 500-hectare

resort island is home to more than 30

themed attractions, some 120 food

& beverage outlets, golden sandy

beaches, 17 hotels with more than 4,000

rooms, two premier 18-hole golf courses,

a deep-water yachting marina, lush

greenery and more

Hub includes the following projects:

• Moscow Travel Hack — a hackathon on digitalisation in

tourism (The first one was held in Moscow in February

2019 in cooperation with 10 Russian and international

partners: Facebook, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine

Arts, Russpass, Discover.Moscow, Aeroexpress, etc.);

• Moscow Travel Factory — an acceleration program for the

development of digital products and services in tourism

and hospitality industry;

• Speed-dating of tourism industry participants to create

new partnerships.

RUSSPASS

RUSSPASS is a digital travel service in Moscow that

allows a visitor to fully plan a trip to Russia and Moscow.

RUSSPASS contains city services and attractions, such

as museums, parks, restaurants, theatres, cafes, and city

events from all over Russia. Since its launch, more than

80 regions of Russia have joined the platform. The service

will include an e-visa option when it launches in 2021 in

Russia, with citizens of 53 countries becoming eligible.

#MOSCOWWITHYOU

#Moscowwithyou is an online project launched by the

Moscow City Tourism Committee together with the city's

cultural venues in March 2020. On the website, anyone can

virtually go on excursions, listen to lectures, see theatre

performances, watch cooking shows, fashion shows

and much more. Recently, an English version appeared

#Moscowwithyou. More than 50 excursions are now

available with English subtitles

ITB ASIA NEWS • FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 2020 9


I EXHIBITORS I

Saudi Tourism: public and private

sectors working hand in hand

Exclusive interview: Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and board member of

the Saudi Tourism Authority

Saudi Arabia recently hosted the G20 meeting of tourism

ministers. We asked Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and board

member of the Saudi Tourism Authority, how important this

event was in terms of helping the Kingdom stand out as a

leading light in the tourism world.

Under the Saudi Presidency this

year, the Saudi Ministry of Tourism

has taken a lead on addressing the

impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

on the global travel and tourism

sector.

WE ARE LOOKING

TO ATTRACT

TRAVELLERS

FROM CHINA,

SOUTH KOREA,

MALAYSIA AND

JAPAN WHO

HAVE A LOT TO

DISCOVER FROM

TRAVELLING TO

THE HOME OF

ARABIA

The Ministry’s leadership has

pioneered a uniquely collaborative

approach between the public and

the private sectors to build a safe

environment for travellers and

rebuild traveller confidence. From

a Saudi Tourism Authority

perspective, this responsiveness

provided us with a framework

to develop and market with

the Kingdom's largest ever

domestic tourism campaign -

"Saudi Summer" - with complete

confidence that visitors would be

able to travel safely. Ultimately, these

efforts have contributed to shoring

up and strengthening the local

tourism industry through increased

domestic spend.

How are the private and public

sectors working together in terms

of moving tourism forward?

Close collaboration with the private

sector is central to our approach

to developing the tourism market

in Saudi Arabia. Part of the Saudi

Tourism Authority's mandate is

to support the development of a

tourism infrastructure, while

empowering and enabling the

private sector. As part of this

mandate we are building the first

national level visitor experience

management unit in the industry,

which will work closely with our

private sector partners to accelerate

innovation and drive visitor

experience improvements across

the entire tourism journey.

How has the COVID-19 crisis altered

your goals for the next ten years?

Tourism in Saudi Arabia has

made significant progress in the

past year since the launch of our

first international tourist visa in

September 2019. We are committed

to and remain on track to achieve

our Vision 2030 goals of 100

million visits by 2030 across both

international and domestic.

Saudi Arabia is leveraging its

strengths and ambitiously pursuing

its targets to become a global

tourism destination, despite the

challenges presented by COVID-19.

What are the next steps in your

tourism promotion plans?

We have ambitious plans to further

drive the promotion of Saudi as

a leading international tourism

destination and the Asian market is

a key priority for us. We are looking

to attract travellers from China,

South Korea, Malaysia and Japan

who have a lot to discover from

travelling to the home of Arabia

and we are confident that Saudi's

natural beauty, authentic culture

and rich adventure experiences

will inspire Asian tourists looking to

journey off the beaten track. To help

achieve these goals, we are building

representative teams in key markets

to help drive our initiatives forward.

We will also soon be launching our

Winter Season activities, which

will help bring new experiences

and destinations to market. We are

looking forward to welcoming our

domestic, regional and international

visitors to explore and discover our

winter destinations

SAUDI SUMMER BOOSTS

TOURISM IN 2020

The Saudi Tourism Authority has been putting a great deal of effort

into re-kindling domestic tourism. Their "Saudi Summer" campaign

encouraged Saudi nationals and residents to explore 12 unique

destinations along the Red Sea coast. The campaign was hugely

successful and was warmly received by travellers and domestic

tourism companies alike. The campaign ran from June to September

and generated a 33% increase in visitor spend recorded by hotels,

restaurants and cultural activities compared to the same period in

2019. At peak period, some destinations saw hotel occupancy rates

reach almost 100%.

10 ITB ASIA NEWS • FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 2020

www.itb-asia-news.com

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