Lovely London? Saudis think so! Why KSA is topping UK tourism charts
Saudi tourists are considered to be among the top five most high-spending markets for Britain, with an average spend per visit of £2,500, according Joss Croft, Leader and Marketing Manager of VisitBritain.
Speaking to the Gazette as VisitBritain hosted its annual GCC travel trade mission in Jeddah on Tuesday, Croft said that Visit Britain’s GCC trade mission aims to build on this growth, providing UK suppliers with the opportunity to meet more than sixty travel agents from across Saudi Arabia to promote holiday destinations, tour packages and attractions from all over Britain, highlighting attractive deals available to GCC holidaymakers in the lead up to the long summer break and school holidays.
“It is the first sales mission in Saudi Arabia and we have variety of tourism industry professionals who are very keen to access an important market,” he said.
He said shopping, visiting parks and gardens and going to museums and galleries are three of the most popular activities for visitors from Saudi Arabia when in Britain, with green spaces and a moderate climate providing a unique opportunity to spend time relaxing outdoors.
During their visit, Visit Britain’s delegates met up with interested Saudi tourists, travel representatives and tourism agencies. Giving details and insights of Britain tourism and promoting the numerous tourist attractions and services offered in the different regions of the country.
According to Croft figures show that during the first three quarters of 2013, total visits from GCC countries to the UK were up by 10% on the same period in 2012, whilst spend increased by 11%.1.
He commented: “We have ambitious growth targets which we are working tirelessly to achieve from across the GCC region. We’ve already partnered and launched campaigns with the top airlines and our trade missions allow us to facilitate relationships with the people who help us sell the best of Britain.”
Visit Britain predicts that by 2020 Saudi Arabia will have the highest projected value percentage growth – 181 percent – among the twenty major and emerging markets in VisitBritain’s tourism strategy.
He pointed out that London, tourism has always been a flourishing sector and a popular destination for Saudis during holidays, he concluded “Within this campaign we are aiming to show Saudis that Britain has variety of touristic cities and destinations beside London.”
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