The seventh edition of Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market (STTIM 2014), which was inaugurated on Sunday, opened its doors for the public on Monday.
There was a huge turnout of visitors to the biggest event in the Kingdom’s tourism industry on the day, marked by business to business (B2B) and business to customers (B2C) activities.
Apart from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), which is organizing the mega event at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, major companies from the Kingdom and other GCC countries as well as multinational companies (MNCs), especially from the tourism and travel sector, are participating in the STTIM, which has enjoyed consistent growth since its inception in 2008.
“This year, STTIM has a 40 percent larger display area with more companies participating, which underlines its status as one of the most important in the region’s travel and tourism sector,” an SCTA official said.
“Visitors include investors, decision-makers, travel and tour operators and planners as well as senior directors, managers from associations, agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies and other related sectors,” the official added.
According to the organizers, aside from doing business with exhibitors, the educational and professional development opportunities are reasons that huge numbers of people are turning out from the first day itself to attend various programs and activities.
Commenting on the popularity of the event, some representatives of participating companies told Arab News that the STTIM covers all aspects of travel and tourism investment in the Kingdom through a combined conference and exhibition. These are aimed at presenting and promoting opportunities in investment, and tourism services and products under one roof. They also offer an opportunity to the exhibitors to reach the lucrative travel and tourism market in the largest economy in the Middle East.
Hotel representatives participating in the event stated that the Kingdom is all set to enter a new phase of comprehensive development as it is very much focused on the travel and tourism sector with hospitality as a growing industry in all the major cities.
The Kingdom is making significant investments in its travel and tourism sector on the back of rapid economic growth.
A presentation on the Kingdom’s new draft bylaw on tourism was made on Monday, apart from workshops, highlighting the role of social media in the tourism sector — how to increase and develop tourism business using instagram.
Various halls have been erected for workshops and activities displaying rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom, which aims to develop, preserve and raise awareness on the national heritage and to highlight the cultural dimension of the Kingdom nationally and internationally, and bring out the great contributions of the people of the Arabian peninsula, its openness and acceptance to other cultures.
Professor Ignazio Marino, mayor of Rome, is currently visiting the Kingdom to attend STTIM program and has met Prince Sultan, president of SCTA, discussing prospects of cooperation between the two friendly countries in the areas of tourism, antiquities, and urban heritage, besides discussing the proper means for enhancing cooperation efforts between the two countries.
During the meeting, Prince Sultan also discussed the potential of utilizing Roman experience in exploiting the urban heritage for the support of tourism, and organizing antiquities and heritage-related exhibitions in the two countries.