Deputy CEO of Al Tayyar Travel Group Holding, Mr. Ossama Maayeh and Ms. Sally Balcombe, CEO of VisitBritain, the national tourism authority…
9th September, 2015 :
Deputy CEO of Al Tayyar Travel Group Holding, Mr. Ossama Maayeh and Ms. Sally Balcombe, CEO of VisitBritain, the national tourism authority, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), committing both parties to invest in joint assets to promote tourism to Britain from Saudi Arabia. Present at the signing was also Mr. Francis Dharmai – Head of Tourism and Regional General Manager – GCC.
The MoU outlines areas of collaboration between Al Tayyar Travel Group and VisitBritain including information exchange on tourism market trends as well as other technical and statistical data; organising promotional activities; establishing an incentive system for promotion of Great Britain in the Saudi market and training and skills development of talents to aid in promoting the destination.
Britain welcomed 144,000 visitors from Saudi Arabia in 2014, spending £365 million. 2014 was a record breaking year, as Britain saw a 15% increase in visits and a 13% increase in visitor spend from Saudi Arabia. While London remains a firm favourite for Saudi visitors, there are a large variety of regional Britain destinations that VisitBritain will be working with Al Tayyar Travel Group to promote.
The Group Deputy CEO, Mr. Ossama Maayeh highlighted the strong links between Al Tayyar Travel Group and VisitBritain. "With over 4,000 employees, the organisation serves customers in more than 430 branches in Saudi Arabia and abroad. We are now working very closely with VisitBritain to strengthen our collaboration, and today’s important agreement establishes a solid platform to launch joint initiatives in Saudi Arabia", he added.
"This agreement is an important step to further strengthens our close relationship with Al Tayyar Travel Group," said Ms. Sally Balcombe, VisitBritain CEO, on the occasion of the signing. "Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest emerging markets for VisitBritain; we have witnessed a constant growth in visitor numbers and are keen to get more Saudi nationals visiting the regions and exploring more of the Great British holidays on offer across England, Scotland and Wales. From zip-lining in Wales or enjoying a stroll on the coast to sampling local produce in the Scottish highlands, our countryside offers the very best of Britain. The variety on offer will suit the needs of family travellers, luxury seekers and Saudi youth. We are looking forward to working with Al Tayyar Travel Group to bring the best of Britain to Saudi nationals.’’
As part of the MoU, VisitBritain and Al Tayyar Travel Group also agreed to appoint the latter as the exclusive fulfilment trade partner in Saudi Arabia for VisitBritain’s Dunes to Countryside and Culture campaign. The campaign launched in July 2015 and will run until the end of March 2016, with the aim of encouraging regional dispersion and discovery of the GREAT British countryside.