IHG Hotels & Resorts signs MOU with Saudi Tourism Authority to accelerate growth of tourism sector

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To develop customised promotions, joint marketing campaigns and promotions through loyalty programmes

IHG® Hotels & Resorts has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) at the Arabian Travel Market 2023. The MOU provides a framework for both entities to explore methods to increase inbound visitation to Saudi Arabia from key markets across the Middle East and Africa region. This includes developing customized promotions, joint marketing campaigns, and promotion through loyalty programmes which will showcase Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s most exciting destinations to an international audience. 

The MOU was signed at the Saudi pavilion at the Arabian Travel Market 2023 held in Dubai, by James Britchford, Vice President Commercial at IHG for India, Middle East and Africa, and Munirah Abanomy, Head of Marketing Partnership for the Middle East & Africa at Saudi Tourism Authority.

With Saudi Arabia targeting 100 million visitors by 2030, the Kingdom is a priority market for IHG Hotels & Resorts in the Middle East. The hospitality group aims to support the tourism sector in the country by growing the footprint of its existing brands, as well as introducing new brands from its global portfolio, in addition to running campaigns to promote various destinations within the country. IHG also plans to further support the Kingdom’s economic Vision by investing in developing Saudi talent in the Kingdom, with an ambition to hire 6,000 nationals across it’s growing portfolio by 2030.

James Britchford, Vice President, Commercial, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “As a reflection of our commitment to support the growth of the tourism industry within the Kingdom, we are delighted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Tourism Authority. Collaborations with key government entities, such as the STA, enable us to position and promote attractive destinations and exciting tourism offerings that the country has developed, to our guests across markets.”

Abdulkarim Aldarwish – President of Middle East & Africa Markets at the Saudi Tourism Authority, commented: “Signing of an MOU with IHG comes within the framework of the Saudi Tourism Authority’s keenness to strengthen strategic partnerships with major international companies and prestigious brands with global reach. Such partnerships enhance the efforts of the Saudi Tourism Authority in attracting tourists and enriching their experience by providing best-in-class products, offers and packages.”

To expand its presence in key cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, Makkah, Dammam, Al Khobar and Megaprojects, IHG Hotels & Resorts is positioned to add over 10,000 additional rooms to its portfolio in the next 2-3 years. This is set to significantly boost the tourism infrastructure in the country and provide a diverse range of accommodation options — across luxury, leisure, religious and business tourism.

IHG® Hotels & Resorts currently operates 37 hotels across five brands in Saudi Arabia, including InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites, and Voco, with 31 hotels in the development pipeline set to open within the next three to five years.