The Korea Herald


Saudi Arabia's 'Lost World' mystique and futuristic giga-projects get a warm welcome in South Korea


Published : May 29, 2023 - 15:40

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  • Saudi Tourism Authority arrived in Seoul, aiming to create greater collaborative opportunities and reinforce its commitment to local partners
  • Over 200 key South Korean trade and media attended the multi-day destination showcase spotlighting unique experiences
  • Saudi aims to attract over 50,000 South Korean travelers in 2023 as part of Vision 2030, aided by new direct flight routes, stopover visas and e-visas

SEOUL, South Korea, May 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has successfully concluded its roadshow in South Korea, capturing the attention of more than 200 key Korean media and trade partners with 15 Saudi partners, including DMCs, hoteliers and airline representatives in attendance. 

Saudi Tourism Authority
Saudi Tourism Authority

The roadshow – Saudi's second in the country – opened a window into the diverse range of experiences available to Korean holidaymakers in the Kingdom and cemented itself as an exciting holiday destination, thanks to attractions, ease of access, direct flight links and history-making upcoming giga projects. A series of insightful meetings, round table discussions and networking events were hosted at the day-long event to support existing strategic partnerships and celebrate key milestones for Saudi's tourism growth story. Saudi is set to spend $1 trillion on tourism in the next decade, cementing itself as the world's most exciting and growing tourism landscape. 

During the highly anticipated roadshow, Saudi Tourism Authority held meetings with key trade partners and travel buyers to promote Saudi as a leisure destination and shared insights into the emerging trends in FIT tourism. Saudi's presence in South Korea indicates the sector's strategic importance for the Kingdom and the country's potential as a critical source market. In what is hailed as a post-pandemic success story, Saudi outpaced G20 countries in tourism recovery, welcoming 93.5 million visits in 2022 with a total tourism spend of SAR185 billion – an increase of 93% compared to 2021. 

Saudi is gearing up to welcome 53,000 Korean visitors in 2023, an increase from 11,000 in 2022, not only due to its history, leisure, luxury, nature and adventure tourism offerings but for its seamless travel links. Since August 2022, Saudi's national carrier Saudia has been operating direct flights between Seoul and Riyadh, with the addition of a new Jeddah-Seoul route in March 2023 that is expected to further boost travel between the two countries. Facilitating seamless leisure travel is South Korea's participation in Saudi's e-visa program along with 48 other nationalities and inclusion in the brand-new 96-hour Stopover Visa, where guests flying onwards on SAUDIA can avail of a complimentary one-night hotel stay in Saudi. 

Alhasan Aldabbagh, President-APAC, Saudi Tourism Authority, said, "Saudi's participation in the multi-city roadshow is a commitment to the South Korean market and local partners as Saudi Tourism Authority strengthens existing strategic links to facilitate trade development. These engagements are critical in helping Saudi achieve our ambitious goals, to drive volume and growth and showcase the beauty of Saudi and its many tourism offerings in South Korea."

South Korean travellers can look forward to a diverse range of experiences from adventure, culture, heritage, and nature curated specifically for local travellers based on their interests and insights. These include blockbuster events like the Jeddah Grand Prix and Riyadh and Jeddah Seasons, ancient desert kingdoms unexplored by the world for centuries, $500-billion Giga Projects and a burgeoning hotel and dining scene sweeping its cities – like Diriyah's Bujairi terrace with 20 global brands and four Michelin-starred names. 

Find out more about Saudi's tourism offerings on the Visit Saudi website.

About Saudi Tourism Authority

Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), launched in June 2020, is responsible for marketing Saudi's tourism destinations worldwide and developing the destination's offering through programs, packages and business support. Its mandate includes developing the country's unique assets and destinations, hosting and participating in industry events, and promoting Saudi's destination brand locally and overseas. STA operates 16 representative offices around the world, serving 38 countries.

To learn more please visit