The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has opened its first commercial office for Southeast Asia in Malaysia, working with tour operators, travel agents and other industry stakeholders to drive destination awareness in regional key source markets.
Responsible for trade and consumer marketing activities, the new STA office is supported by aviation & destination marketing representative company, AVIAREPS Malaysia, also appointed as its in-market representative covering the Southeast Asia region.
STA currently has representative offices in 11 markets serving 21 countries, with an eventual goal of 15 offices globally.
Shazlin Ahmad, country manager for STA in Southeast Asia noted that outreach to the region's tourism trade sector has been "very positive".
"We are actively seeking opportunities to co-invest with partners who are keen to add Saudi as an exciting new destination in their portfolio," said Ahmad.
She added that partners such as DMCs, tour operators and other stakeholders can also tap on Saudi Expert — a comprehensive digital platform which provides data, insights, destination information and creative assets in real time — to build their businesses.
“By investing now in brand awareness and in our network of international offices, we are seeking to expand the global reach and relevance of these sites and integrating new ways of thinking and delivering on our mandate,” said Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority.
These include joint promotions on social media, sharing best practices in the sustainable management of cultural heritage sites as tourist zones, and promotion of Muslim-friendly tourism.
Since opening its borders to international visitors in September 2019, Saudi has been making headway on ambitious development projects including cruise tourism. The destination recently reopened to vaccinated international travellers since August.