Saudi Arabia/Tourism: 2.5 million arrivals for business tourism

JEDDAH, 18 Jumada Al-Awwal/9 April (IINA)- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has received over 2.5 million visitors arriving to the country to take part in conferences or exhibitions held in different parts of the Kingdom during 2011.

During their stay they spent over SR 7.7 bn. Also they made 741 domestic business trips during which they spent SR 876 million, said Eng. Tariq bin Abdul Rahman Al Essa, Director of Business Tourism Development Project at SCTA.

Eng. Tariq was addressing during a workshop on business tourism with special focus on “Exhibitions and Conferences”. The workshop was held on the sidelines of STTIM-2012.

He further said, “These figures reflect importance of this sector if it was properly exploited as it has large correlation with other sectors, such as insurance companies, transport companies, food suppliers, media means, education sectors, training, and the like organizations.”

Regarding international experience, Al Essa focused on a number of experiences, which show how far this sector could be exploited, such as Imex festival in Frankfort in which about 3500 exhibitors from 150 countries to take part, Gibtm in Abu Dhabi in which over 250 exhibitors from more than 20 countries taking part and Eibtm in Barcelona it is one of the most famous exhibitions.

During his speech he referred to a number of objectives that SCTA look forward to achieve them through holding a forum for conferences and exhibitions in the Kingdom, in the forefront of which is, bringing together the conferences and exhibitions stakeholders, both organizers and suppliers in the Kingdom, exploring and highlighting international experience in this field, exchanging experience in the field of conferences and exhibitions.

The first session of the forum will focus on attracting about 50 exhibitors from hotels, exhibitions suppliers and conferences suppliers, tour operators, and exhibitions and conferences operators and international associations.