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A New Future for Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Sector

NEOM, meaning new future, is Saudi Arabia’s US$500 billion project being built from the ground up based on “liveability and sustainability” and where a futuristic luxury travel destination is rising.

Located on the Red Sea in the north-west, NEOM will feature hyperconnected, cognitive cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centres, sports and entertainment venues.

Managing director of tourism, Niall Gibbons, visited Singapore as part of the Discover NEOM Asia Tour. He had already made stops in South Korea and India, and will head to Japan next.

NEOM, he remarked, had identified 16 trade shows including those organised by ITB, WTM and ILTM to “build trade relations” and most recently attended ITB China in Shanghai.

The destination comprises 468km of coastline and spectacular islands, scenic snow-capped mountains reaching up to 2,600m, views across the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea, and idyllic and peaceful desert expanses.

According to a NEOM statement, Sindalah – a multifaceted island featuring world-class design combined with nature to offer a luxury eco-experience – has partnered prestigious BWA Yachting as the Red Sea’s first superyacht destination.

The world’s superyachting clientele is expected to arrive from 1Q2024, the statement added.

In addition, Gibbons shared that a proposal had been put up to establish an airline for NEOM, and NEOM Bay Airport was being expanded to meet international demand.

NEOM’s tourism statutory board, he noted was tasked to oversee regulation and planning, destination development, sales and marketing and digital development and the creation of an app to provide a seamless booking platform experience.

NEOM is the vision of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, and is one of the most important projects in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 which plans to grow and diversify the Saudi economy and position the country to play a leading role in global development.

Source : TTG Asia