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Saudi Arabia to celebrate 100 million tourists milestone at ITB Berlin

Saudi Arabia kicks off its participation in the world’s premier travel expo, ITB Berlin, with a significant event to commemorate its monumental success of attracting over 100 million visitors in 2023, achieving this goal a remarkable seven years ahead of its projected timeline.

For the second consecutive year, Saudi Arabia has made a return to ITB, this time with a contingent exceeding 55 partners, spearheaded by His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), alongside prominent figures and entities from Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector, including destination management companies, hotel chains, and airlines. Building on the momentum of being named “best exhibitor” at the previous year’s event, His Excellency Al-Khateeb, together with collaborators and attendees, inaugurated Saudi Arabia’s most dynamic and engaging exhibition space to date, poised to be the highlight of its ITB 2024 showcase. Over the course of the three-day exhibition, Saudi Arabia aims to promote its exceptional tourism opportunities available throughout the year to the European audience, foster new and existing trade relationships, and commemorate the continuous significant growth of its tourism industry.

This announcement follows the country’s achievement of a significant milestone in 2023, where it exceeded the goal of welcoming over 100 million domestic and international tourists, surpassing the initial target outlined in Vision 2030 well in advance. This achievement has not only set Saudi Arabia on a fast track towards its new goal of attracting 150 million tourists by 2030 but has also reinforced its status as a leading tourism destination. In light of this achievement, His Excellency Al-Khateeb is set to host a celebratory event titled “Breaking Records, Building Bridges,” aimed at gathering leading figures from the international tourism industry alongside esteemed guests to highlight Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector’s impressive growth and potential for future collaborations. This event, scheduled to take place later today on the margins of ITB, will further emphasize the exceptional partnership opportunities available in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on the milestone achievement, His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority, said, “Saudi’s expanded participation this year’s ITB Berlin reflects our tremendous growth, as we celebrate a milestone of achieving over 100 million tourists in 2023. This achievement is not merely a number, but a testament to our unwavering commitment, our ability to inspire investment commitments into the tourism sector, and the collaborations made across the Saudi tourism ecosystem as a whole, which has propelled us forward as one of the world’s most dynamic destinations.”

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Board Member of the Saudi Tourism Authority said, “Following on from the success of being named best exhibitor at last year’s event, we’re delighted to be back at ITB with an even bigger and more immersive stand. It’s a reflection of the importance of the European market for Saudi as we accelerate progress towards our new increased target of 150 million tourists by 2030. In 2023, Saudi welcome over 950k visitors, marking an increase of 65% compared to 2022 levels. The increase from Germany tourists alone to Saudi was a 61% increase compared to the previous year, showing the developed appetite for Saudi as a destination.”

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