At the Arabian Travel Market 2023 in Dubai, IHG Hotels and the Saudi Arabian Tourism Authority (STA) signed a MOU. IHG was represented by James Britchford, IHG's vice president of sales for India, Middle East and Africa, and the Saudi Tourism Authority was represented by Munirah Abanomy, head of marketing partnership for the Middle East and Africa.
The objective of this agreement is to increase the attractiveness of Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination from the Middle East and Africa region where the strategic markets are located, as well as to enhance the value of the destination in the eyes of the international public. The Saudi Arabian Tourism Authority hopes to welcome 100 million visitors by 2030.
IHG Hotels currently operates 37 hotels in Saudi Arabia under the InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites and voco brands with another 31 hotels expected to open in the next three to five years.
The group is committed to further expanding its presence by strengthening its brands in key cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, Makkah, Dammam, Al Khobar and Mega projects by adding more than 10,000 additional rooms to its portfolio over the next 2-3 years and by conducting campaigns to showcase various destinations in the country This agreement will benefit the country's luxury, leisure, religious and business tourism.
"We are delighted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Tourism Authority, which demonstrates our commitment to supporting the growth of the tourism industry in the Kingdom. Collaborations with key government entities, such as the STA, allow us to position and promote attractive destinations and exciting tourism offerings that the country has developed, to our customers in all markets." - James Britchford, vice president, commercial division for India, Middle East and Africa, IHG Hotels & Resorts
"The signing of a memorandum of understanding with IHG is part of the Saudi Tourism Authority's drive to strengthen strategic partnerships with leading international companies and prestigious global brands. These partnerships reinforce the Saudi Tourism Authority's efforts to attract tourists and enrich their experience by providing them with premium products, offers and packages."- Abdulkarim Aldarwish, President of Middle East and Africa Markets at the Saudi Tourism Authority