Saudi Arabia seeks to attract 55,000 Korean tourists as it boosts worldwide awareness of its tourism opportunities

Al Ula

Al Ula

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is planning to quintuple this year the number of visitors from South Korea to the kingdom.

In 2022, around 11,000 South Koreans visited Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi plan is to increase the number to 55,000 in 2023.

Direct flights from the capital Riyadh to Seoul are consolidated by a new route linking the Red Sea resort of Jeddah with the Korean capital.

The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) is also presenting incentives through attractive packages that include a complimentary one-night hotel stay in Saudi Arabia.

The Elephant Rocks at Al Ula (Expedia)

The Elephant Rocks at Al Ula (Expedia)

During a tourism roadshow in Seoul, the STA offered a wide range of “authentic experiences” centered around the Golden Triangle of Riyadh, AlUla and Jeddah, the outstanding tourism areas well-connected by domestic flights and advanced highways.

At the roadshow, STA’s Asia Pacific region Chief Markets Officer Alhasan Ali Aldabbagh said that “Saudi Arabia is committed to facilitating a seamless travel experience for all kinds of travelers, from meditation and relaxing trips to adventures and entertainment.”

“We know Korean travelers are looking for authentic experiences and we are confident that those who know nothing about Saudi Arabia can also enjoy a magnificent trip with so many things to see,” he was quoted as saying by the Korea Herald.

Saudi Arabia’s initial aim for Korean travelers going to Jordan, Dubai or Qatar is to drop by Saudi Arabia for two to three days conveniently through stopover visas, he added.

“Hopefully by the next time, they will spend 10 to 14 days fully enjoying the Golden Triangle.”

Saudi Arabia has been leading globally in post-pandemic tourism recovery as it reinforces its drive to diversify its economy through more than 500 bookable packages and experiences.

The Red Sea (Saudi Press Agency)

The Red Sea (Saudi Press Agency)

On May 18, STA officially launched ‘Rethink Summer’, its seasonal campaign aimed at promoting Saudi as a diverse, unique summer destination for adventurers and explorers from within Saudi and abroad.

“Saudi Arabia is the fastest growing destination worldwide today, with a proven capacity to host visitors from the world over, yearlong,” Tourism Minister and STA Chairman Ahmed Al Khateeb said.

“Building on this, we are pleased to launch the ‘Rethink Summer’ campaign to share the beautiful diversity of Saudi with the world, from the cool, green highlands, to the coasts of the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf.

“Entertainment events will be special and for everyone. Our partners in the private sector are instrumental in this campaign, offering over 1.8 million additional seats for inbound flights, more than 15,000 new hotel rooms, and over 100 products tailored to meet the taste of all our visitors this summer. This is the largest contribution of the private sector yet.”


In January, Saudi Arabia launched a new a free-of-charge Stopover Visa in another move to make the kingdom more accessible.

The Stopover Visa allows passengers to stay in the country for up to 96 hours and to explore Saudi’s historical and cultural sites.

Travelers are also able to use the Stopover Visa to perform the spiritual Umrah.

Saudi Arabia is delivering on its tourism ambition with projects that include the Red Sea Project, the world’s most ambitious, sustainable luxury tourism development, Diriyah, the 300-year-old mud city and birthplace of Saudi Arabia, and Sindalah Island, NEOM’s incomparable island destination.

The country is also home to a diverse landscape, from the UNESCO-listed oasis of Al Ahsa, to the pristine coral reefs of Saudi Arabia’s 1,700km long Red Sea coast where the first of 16 luxury hotels will be opening later this year.

Messi with his family in Saudi Arabia

Messi with his family in Saudi Arabia

Earlier this month, global football icon Lionel Messi and his family were hosted by Saudi Arabia for an action-packed two-day trip in the country’s capital, Riyadh.

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