In an effort to boost the country’s tourism sector, the Philippine’s Department of Tourism and the Filipino Embassy in Saudi Arabia have launched a campaign in Jeddah and Riyadh to encourage visits by Saudi nationals.
The week-long campaign event, called “Roadshow,” is set to last until Dec. 20 and acts as a forum for travel and aviation companies from both countries to meet and discuss opportunities.
Mazen al-Ebrahem, account manager for AVIAREPS handling tourism for the Philippines in the Middle East, added that the event aims to boost cooperation between stakeholders from the tourism industry.
“What we want to do is to promote the Philippines as a family destination for the Saudi people and expatriates,” said Ebrahem, “this is another push to the Saudi market [and] to increase their awareness of [the] different destinations [in the Philippines].”
A report released by the Philippine’s Department of Tourism, noted that more than 30,000 Saudi nationals visited the Southeast Asian country between January and September this year, generating a 34.7 percent increase in tourist traffic that is expected to rise by the end of this year.
In 2012, 30,040 Saudis came to visit the Philippines, according to the report.
“Everyone is trying to target the Saudi market as they are big spenders and that they travel in big groups,” added Ebrahem.
Chief of the Middle East Market Development Group of the Philippine Department of Tourism, Raymund Glen Agustin, added that the aim was to raise awareness of the Philippines as a tourism destination.
“Our commitment to deepen our engagement with travel industry professionals, airlines, media and consumers in the Middle East, to further spread the message that travel and tourism to the Philippines offers great value and is more fun, is resolute,” he said in a released statement.
The event includes seminars and industry-related workshops seeking to highlight the Philippines’ attractions.
“An increasing number of Saudis are experiencing the joy and value that the Philippines have to offer as a holiday destination,” said Philippine ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ezeddine Tago, in a released statement.
“We hope to encourage even more Saudis to discover the unique charms of our country.”