Saudi Arabia's goal, as part of its Vision 2030 economic diversification programme, is to increase tourism revenues to $46 billion a year by 2030. In order to achieve this goal, the Saudi government is providing incentives for Chinese tourists, such as more accessible entry visas, improvements in tourism infrastructure and the promotion of tourist destinations. The government is also working to improve air transport between the two countries while promoting cultural exchange, cooperation in developing tourism content and improving the quality of tourism services.
China's Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism Rao Quan and Saudi Tourism Authority CEO Fahd Hamidaddin met to discuss how to enhance the strategic partnership between China and Saudi Arabia in the field of tourism. They reaffirmed the two countries' commitment to foster cooperation in tourism, promote mutual openness for travel between the two countries and strengthen the unification of international visions and efforts through relevant international organisations. They also highlighted the results of Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent visit to the Kingdom, which included boosting the Arab country as an attractive destination for Chinese tourists. The two leaders even discussed the issues of tourism product promotion, industry development and the opening of promotion and marketing channels.
Rao Quan stressed the influence of Arab culture in China and the importance of cultural exchanges between the two countries. He expressed his intention to share China's cultural wealth with the Saudi kingdom to promote cultural cooperation between the two countries. The meeting also focused on issues such as the development of tourism products, increasing the influx of tourists and the promotion of the respective tourist destinations. The Chinese Vice Minister expressed his understanding of the Saudi tourism industry and his desire to deepen cooperation between the two countries in the field of tourism. The Saudi representative, for his part, expressed his support for the Chinese Deputy Minister and also highlighted the high level of cooperation between the two countries in the same field. Finally, the Chinese deputy minister thanked Fahd Hamidaddin for the opportunity to meet with him and expressed his hope that the two countries will work together.
Guidelines for signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support tourism cooperation between the two countries were also agreed upon. During the meeting, officials from both countries agreed on a comprehensive strategy for the development of tourism services between the two countries. This strategy included measures to facilitate procedures to attract tourist groups from China, launch joint tourism initiatives to develop human capacity in the tourism sector, and strengthen academic and research collaboration between the two countries.
The meeting was held to discuss trade ties between the two countries, as well as investment opportunities in the Saudi tourism sector. Saudi tourism destinations featured included the beautiful Ela, the historic Mada'in Saleh, the city of Tabuk and the Wadi al-Dawasir National Park. Saudi and Chinese tourism sector experts discussed how to enhance the attractiveness of Saudi tourism destinations and how to promote the expansion of business partnerships between the two countries.
All in all, the meeting in Guangzhou was a success and contributed to promoting Saudi tourism in the Chinese market. This will generate new investment opportunities as well as a deeper partnership. In addition, the Saudi Arabian representatives visited tourism establishments, museums, hotels and other important sites and spoke with representatives of the Chinese tourism industry, met with Chinese government officials, including China's Vice Minister of Tourism. The tour aimed to promote Saudi tourism destinations to the Chinese audience and generate interest in the region. The tour is expected to help increase the number of Chinese tourists in Saudi Arabia.