Home GCC Saudi Arabia Saudi Tourism Authority launches initiative to empower domestic private sector The new initiative focuses on equipping the private sector with the support needed to manage the evolving tourism landscape by Zainab Mansoor March 15, 2021 The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has launched ‘Tourism Shapers’, a new initiative to support the learning and development of local travel trade partners in the tourism private sector. Tourism Shapers aims to support the tourism sector and inspire SME businesses in the kingdom to leverage the opportunities to flourish. “Across the kingdom, we are seeing different types of small-to-medium sized businesses transform their working models and offering so that tourism is at the heart of their core product,” said Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority. “Businesses are beginning to think differently about the future, recognising the immense growth opportunities within the tourism sector and how they must adapt, evolve and innovate to meet the needs of their customer.” The initiative began with a series of monthly interactive webinars, with each session focusing on a different topic, designed to equip the audience with best practices, key insights, and information about the tourism sector. The first webinar, ‘The Future of Travel and Tourism’, brought together thought leaders Noor Nugali, assistant editor-in-chief, Arab News; travel expert and founder of startup enabler, Why Bolt, Aya Sadder; and Abdulrahman Bakhsh, private sector partnerships director at STA, to share insights and views on the tourism industry of tomorrow and how businesses can adapt and evolve for the future. The initiative began with a series of monthly interactive webinars “Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, it is constantly transforming and businesses must be ready to adapt. The future of the industry will focus on building more resilient communities and businesses through innovation, effective partnerships and readiness to embrace digitalisation,” said Aya Sadder. The next webinar, which focuses on pricing strategy for tourism businesses, will be broadcasted on March 17, 2021, at 7pm local time via the Tourism Shapers website. “The future of tourism is dependent on building partnerships at all levels,” said Hamidaddin. “Tourism Shapers is just one initiative through which STA is sharing ideas and insights that will help empower our partners to win their share of visitation.” The coronavirus pandemic forced Saudi Arabia to close its borders for much of last year, which encouraged domestic tourism within the kingdom. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund will provide SAR11bn to Soudah Development, which will build 2,700 hotel rooms and 1,300 homes in an area that includes Al-Soudah, it was announced last month. Read: Saudi wealth fund commits $3bn to build mega mountain resort project, Soudah Tags Growth Opportunities Saudi Tourism Authority Trade Partners 0 Comments Share Tweet Share Share You might also like Explainer: How has Saudi’s tourism sector coped with the Covid-19 crisis?