JEDDAH: Spain’s tourism board has appointed a specialist marketing representative in Saudi Arabia as part of its bid to double the number of Saudi tourists traveling to the country.
Namratha Rose, manager of marketing and trade relations for Spain Tourism Middle East, said 90,000 tourists from Saudi Arabia visited Spain in 2019, compared with 67,000 in 2016.
“We are looking to double the number of tourists traveling to Spain from the Kingdom. In January and February 2020, before the pandemic halted travel, numbers where higher than in 2019, which was very promising. We are confident Spain always has something to offer all kinds of clients from the Kingdom,” she told Arab News.
In order to achieve the growth in visitors — once international travel restarts in May for Saudis — the Spanish tourism board has appointed AVIAREPS, a global tourism marketing company, as its official partner in the Kingdom.
“This is the first time for Spain Tourism to appoint a joint representative in Saudi Arabia and is symbolic of the importance and dedication we have for further engaging and developing our connections with the Saudi market,” Daniel Rosado, director of the Spanish Tourism Office for the Middle East, said in a statement.
Glenn Johnston, vice president of Middle East and Global Public Affairs at AVIAREPS, said: “In anticipation of international travel coming back online for travelers from Saudi Arabia, we look forward to rolling out a number of marketing and promotional initiatives in the months to come.”
According to the Global Holiday Intent survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Reed Travel Exhibitions — organizer of the Arabian Travel Market exhibition in Dubai — 46 percent of people in Saudi Arabia said they intend to travel internationally once restrictions are eased later this year.
The poll was conducted late last year before the breakthroughs in coronavirus vaccines.
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