As part of the collaboration between Saudi Arabia and the Chinese tour company, both parties will launch a series of joint marketing campaigns in several markets to drive awareness and attract tourists to the Kingdom through global platforms, such as Trip.com, Ctrip, and Travix.
Target markets include Australia, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and the United Kingdom. Trip.com has a large presence in the United States, but this was not mentioned in this press release announcing the partnership with Saudi Arabia.
London-based WTTC has a regional center in Riyadh.
It’s apparent tourism interests are shifting in China. Trip.com signing an MOU with the Saudi Tourism Authority will open new opportunities and raise eyebrows for some American WTTC members.
In addition, both parties will also embark on several capacity-building and knowledge-sharing initiatives in various aspects, including digital payment solutions, sustainability, ticketing, and training.
Mr. Fahd Hamidaddin commented at the MOU signing ceremony, “We are delighted to join hands with Trip.com Group to promote Saudi Arabian tourism across global markets. With Trip.com Group’s market capability and advanced technology, I believe the partnership will encourage and entice more visitors worldwide to Saudi Arabia and further enhance recovery in the global tourism sector.”
Ms Sun said, “We are excited to embark on this collaboration which will strengthen the tourism sector.
Demand for international travel continues to grow, and signing this strategic MOU comes at an opportune time for both parties. Trip.com Group will leverage its marketing capabilities to showcase and promote the beauty and diverse range of experiences in Saudi Arabia, and strengthen the Kingdom’s positioning as a destination of choice.”
Trip.com Group also hosted Mr Fahd Hamidaddin and his colleagues at its premises in Shanghai, China on Friday, 24 March. The delegation was warmly welcomed by Ms Sun and other senior officials, including Schubert Lou, Chief Operating Officer of Trip.com, and Amanda Wang, Vice President, Global Destinations of Trip.com Group.
During the visit, Ms. Sun and her team shared with the delegation Trip.com Group’s history and key focus areas, including technology, and corporate social responsibility efforts, among other topics. During the discussion, both sides also pledged to strengthen areas of cooperation, including knowledge transfer, technological innovation, capacity building, and job creation, while exploring partnerships in common fields such as ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance).
Data from Trip.com Group’s platforms showed keen interest in travel to Saudi Arabia in recent months. On Trip.com, from January to March 2023, the number of users searching for Saudi Arabian travel products almost doubled compared to January to March 2022. Flight bookings to Saudi have also seen a significant increase.
This MOU marks the latest partnership between Trip.com Group and Saudi Arabia, which had previously collaborated on the establishment of the country’s Flagship Store on the Group’s Chinese platform Ctrip, and the various programs to excite and inspire travelers to visit Saudi Arabia in the leadup to the FIFA World Cup 2022 competition.
Trip.com is an international online travel agency. The website is owned by Trip.com Group (formerly Ctrip.com International, Ltd. in China), one of the world’s largest online travel agencies with over 400 million users worldwide and also the parent of Skyscanner.
Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003 and HKEX in 2021, Trip.com Group has become one of the best-known travel groups in the world, with the mission “to pursue the perfect trip for a better world.”