The seventh edition of Riyadh Travel Fair (RTF 2015), which attracted a huge turnout of visitors estimated to be more than 15,000, concluded successfully on Friday.
The total recorded number of visitors at RTF2014 was 13,678.
Around 500 exhibitors from 50 countries displayed their products and services at the show.
Tourism ministries and boards from Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Hungary, Austria, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka South Korea and the Netherlands took part in the event.
The exhibitors were happy that they were able to sell their products and services to the satisfaction of their customers.
The visitors, meanwhile, said that the show was a window to several countries and their travel offers for tourists to their respective countries.
Khaled M Al- Otaibi, secretary general of the Council of Saudi Chambers, opened the premier show, in its seventh year.
The fair was a platform for introducing new products, services and investments, and providing major tourist companies in the world.
It provided an opportunity for leading tourism and travel organizations to showcase their products and activities.
Mushtak Ahmad Mustaffa, deputy director — overseas /vice consul — Tourism (KSA, Levant, Yemen and North Africa) of Tourism Malaysia (Ministry of Tourism & Culture) told Arab News that there is a remarkable increase in the number of tourists to Malaysia last year, compared to the previous year.
In 2014, the number of Saudi tourists to Malaysia was 113,921, up 19.9 percent from the previous year.
“We are expecting more from Saudi Arabia this year since we have declared 2015 as the year of festival,” he said.
Explaining why tourists from the Middle East choose Malaysia for their holidays, Mustaffa said Malaysia is the worlds friendliest destination for Muslim travelers according to a survey released recently.
“Accommodation in Malaysia includes a wide range of hotels and resorts that appeal to all taste and budget,” he said.
“There are high end five-star facilities such as Taj Resort Langkawi, Primula Beach Resort Kuala Terengganu, Bayview Beach Resort Penang, etc. Among the hotels that offer good deals include Holidays in Malacca, Andaman and Langkawi,” he said.
For those who love exploring the outdoors, he said it would be worth visiting Kenyir Lake, Fraser Hill and Cameron Highland.
Ajantha Rathnayake, assistant director of Sri Lanka Tourism Board, said that there was a 40 percent increase in the number of Saudi tourists visiting Colombo in the first quarter of this year.
Last year, he said, there were 89,000 from the Middle East during the same quarter. The figure includes 39,000 from the Kingdom.
“Packages to the Saudi tourists can be be tailor made to suit their tastes,” Rathnayaka said, adding that his country is ideal for a family holiday with the children as well as for honeymoon couples who come in large numbers for private holidays.
Arabic speaking guides can be arranged along with halal food facilities.
Glenn Johnston, marketing representative to the Middle East at the Philippine Department for Tourism, said that the number of Saudi tourists has been increasing over the years.
“We have lot of tourist features to offer Saudi tourist in Manila,” he said, adding that his pavilion offered some concessions for a section of the passengers bound for Manila.