Saudi Tourism Authority Eyes 7.5 Million Indian Visitors By 2030

The STA is set to participate in the upcoming edition of Outbound Travel Market (OTM) scheduled from 8-10 February at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai


Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) is set to participate in the upcoming edition of Outbound Travel Market (OTM), scheduled from 8-10 February at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. The event serves as a platform focused on strengthening ties between the travel trade and key stakeholders from the world’s fastest-growing tourism destination.

A delegation comprising 20 key Saudi stakeholders and prominent associates from various sectors, including DMOs such as Red Sea Global, AlUla, Diriyah, DMCs, Hotels, Tour Operators and Airlines, will be present at the event to collectively showcase the diverse offerings and initiatives driving Saudi’s tourism landscape.

STA will showcase its experiences, services and products at its booth. The space serves as a platform for networking and holding one-on-one meetings with the members of Indian travel trade associations, tour operators and travel agents who will be able to learn more about projects such as Red Sea Global where properties such as The Six Senses and St. Regis recently opened doors, AlUla, home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hegra and Sindalah which will be opening in NEOM towards the end of this year.

Alhasan Aldabbagh, President – APAC Markets, Saudi Tourism Authority, emphasised the significance of the Indian market, stating, “As we continue to diversify our offerings, India has proved to be a major accelerator. We are committed to making India the top source market, aiming to welcome 7.5 million Indian visitors by 2030. To facilitate this, we made visa procedures very easy by introducing e-visa options for Indians holding US, UK and Schengen visas with stamped proof of entry. Applying for visa-on-arrival has become easier than ever as it can be processed at 10 visa centres across India.”

A Stopover visa can also be applied 90 days in advance to visit Saudi for up to 96 hours at these visa facilitation centres when flying with Saudia or Flynas. “Saudi has also enhanced connectivity with Air India, Air India Express, Indigo Airlines, Spice Jet and Vistara,” Aldabbagh added. The air connectivity has surged reaching a capacity of 2.8 million seats in 2023, a 31 per cent increase since 2019. Flights from 12 major hubs in India to Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam signify the robust lifeline of connectivity.

During the event, the STA delegation will network with travel agents, tour operators, event planners, media and attendees offering insights into Saudi’s tourism options including providing insights into 17,000 events Saudi will be hosting, including Riyadh Season, Jeddah Season and Diriyah Season, with notable events coming up including the Saudi Cup, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, AlUla Arts Festival, AlUla Skies Festival and much more.

The STA delegation plans to conduct a four-city networking event in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Delhi, engaging with travel agents and tour operators to foster partnerships and strengthen business ties.

Saudi has emerged as a top destination for travellers seeking unique and immersive experiences. It presents natural wonders and opportunities, from visiting seven Unesco World Heritage Sites, over 10,000 archaeological sites, deep sea explorations, glamping to cave explorations, desert safaris and adventure sports.

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