Why Cover Saudi Arabia as a Travel Destination?

Our choice to explore the Middle Eastern country is explained by an editor on the journey desk. Some users reacted furiously when my vacation tale about Saudi Arabia was published online next year. Why, they inquired, did The New York Times ‘ Travel group devote so much time and energy to a nation whose authoritarian government has committed grave human rights violations? Why did the nation deserve our focus? How much had the state reimbursed us for our insurance? The next question is the easiest to reply: Accepting money ( or any other benefit ) in trade for insurance is strictly prohibited by The Times’s ethics rules. We simply do n’t do it. But in the environment of Saudi Arabia, I can understand why visitors wonder. I was surprised to learn about the amazing amount that the Royal government and its tourism officials have paid website influencers to travel to the country and post extremely simplified accounts of thoroughly curated experiences on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. In this way, opportunities are created to concentrate on the positive features of the nation and ignore everything that paints a more complex picture. And thus social internet is awash with glossy, one- sided information from the country — which you might not understand, because the preparations that produce it usually are n’t disclosed. In my opinion, one of the factors that supports our separately reported post about Saudi Arabia’s fresh tourism projects is that the Times is now one of the couple outlets where interested readers and potential visitors can find a healthy travel story that acknowledges both the country’s tremendous changes and its ongoing complexity, including its disturbing track record with human rights abuses, religious extremism, and the oppression of women and L. G. B. T. people. Why was the plot first given to it? To put it simply: It’s newsworthy. Saudi Arabia’s$ 800 billion strategy for drawing tourists is unmatched in its ambitions, building vast infrastructure for nonreligious visitors on a relatively short timetable. In addition, it’s a component of a wider set of objectives that aim to transform both the Saudi economy and society as a whole. We are having trouble retrieving the article’s content. In your browser’s settings, please enable JavaScript. Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times. Thank you for your patience while we verify access. Already a subscriber? Log in. Want all of The Times? Subscribe.