Saudi Arabia launches summer program with mega lineup of events to boost tourism

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Saudi Arabia has launched its summer program with a lineup of major events taking place across seven destinations in the Kingdom, the Saudi Tourism Authority announced on Monday, in a bid to boost domestic and regional tourism.

The program will run for four months until the end of September across seven destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea (a new destination), Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla.

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This year, the program will also see the return of the Jeddah Season and the launch of the Aseer Season, featuring numerous family activities and events.

The view of fireworks from Jeddah Season 2022. (File photo: SPA)
The view of fireworks from Jeddah Season 2022. (File photo: SPA)

The lineup includes the Esports World Cup – being held for the first time in Riyadh; an annual eight-week competition featuring the world’s most elite esports athletes; and multiple boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

“Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Program 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers,” the Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) Ahmed al-Khateeb said during the launch of the country’s summer program for 2024, “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”

He said the program includes over 550 tourism products and more than 150 special offers and packages curated for families and children across different segments, such as adventure lovers, those seeking luxury retreats, and culture and heritage enthusiasts.

Growth of the tourism industry

At the event, al-Khateeb highlighted global tourism trends, the growth seen by the Kingdom in the tourism sector, and the record-breaking numbers of incoming tourists, resulting in Saudi Arabia topping the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

A visitor walks past a billboard at the Saudi Arabia stand at the International Tourism Trade Fair (ITB, Internationale Tourismusboerse) in Berlin on March 8, 2023. (File photo: AFP)
A visitor walks past a billboard at the Saudi Arabia stand at the International Tourism Trade Fair (ITB, Internationale Tourismusboerse) in Berlin on March 8, 2023. (File photo: AFP)

“We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations… This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide,” al-Khateeb said.

Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector has witnessed unparalleled development at all levels in recent years, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited the World Tourism Organization Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili as saying. “Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

Accessible travel

The launch of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 comes at a time when visiting Saudi Arabia has become easier and safer through efforts like making the eVisa available to citizens of 66 countries, reducing the total price of the eVisa by 20 percent, and increasing the number of weekly flights from Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations to 1,100.

Residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) can also take advantage of the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in Saudi Arabia during a year.

Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of hotel rooms available to travelers who come to Saudi Arabia, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.

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