Saudi Arabia plans to issue e-visas for Indian tourists

Saudi Arabia will be extending its e-visa facilities for Indian tourists soon, informed Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO, Saudi Tourism Authority (STA). While participating in a virtual seminar, Hamidaddin said that Saudi being home to nearly 5 million Indians, the proposed e-visa facility will help in unlocking the huge potential that exists for Visiting Friends & Relatives (VFR) from India to Saudi Arabia.

The STA CEO has said that the visa has proved to be quite successful for Saudi Arabia and around 5 lakh travellers have used the facility since its introduction to visit the country. As part of opening the country for Tourism, the country’s Tourism Authority has identified 30 countries as source markets and these 30 countries have been clustered into 13 groups. He said that based on the cluster, communication strategy will be drawn.

Conceding that there is a lack of awareness about Saudi Arabia and the country’s diverse offerings in the travel world, Hamidaddin said that the attempt is to present the country’s diverse tourism offerings under three heads of culture, adventure and Sun & Sea. While designing a truly integrated experiential tourism to the curious travellers, Hamidaddin said that they would remain authentic to the core with a focus on long term sustainability.

He said that Saudi Arabia is the largest geography in the Arabian peninsula with diverse topography ranging from desert to places with extremely cold climates and snow, green mountains to valleys, and sea.

SAT Tourism said that they will be inducting tour operators and communication agencies in every source market to curate the narratives based on each market’s character and interest.