Cruise Saudi Announces Membership of WTTC

The waterfront in Jeddah

Cruise Saudi has confirmed today that it has become a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Launched in January 2021 at the Future Investment Initiative (FII), Cruise Saudi has made rapid progress in its mission to bring a global cruise industry to Saudi Arabia a new component of the country’s tourism plan outlined in the landmark Vision 2030 program, according to a press release.

The company has already worked together with stakeholders such as the Saudi Port Authority MAWANI to guide the construction of a new cruise terminal at Jeddah Islamic Port, Saudi Arabia’s largest port. It has signed agreements with several leading global cruise operators to bring their ships to Saudi waters.

The MSC Bellissima and Scenic Eclipse have both been sailing the Saudi coastline during the summer season.

The membership of WTTC, which advocates for the development of the travel and tourism sector as a driver of sustainable economic growth, will further establish the Saudi cruise industry just as international leisure travel begins to resume following the COVID-19 pandemic, the group said.

Joining the Council will allow Cruise Saudi to better shine a spotlight on the year-round potential of the Saudi market to tour operators, travel agents and cruise lines, in addition to sourcing key data on international travel trends and learning from the best practitioners in the global cruise sector.

Fawaz Farooqui, Managing Director of Cruise Saudi, said: “Our membership of WTTC is another important step in fulfilling Saudi Arabia’s plans to become a new pillar for the global cruise industry. We have an unparalleled blend of cultural, historical and natural attractions that will appeal to a wide range of travelers from around the world, and we have begun to develop genuinely world-class infrastructure that has enabled us to start welcoming them.”

He added: “Through WTTC, we seek to alert the global cruise industry not only to the unique attractions of our country but also to its ability to provide exceptional, seamless and, most importantly, safe tourist services. Saudi Arabia is committed to building a sustainable, environmentally conscious tourism industry in line with the goals of Vision 2030, and we look forward to collaborating with the WTTC on these efforts in the coming months and years.”

Julia Simpson, President & CEO WTTC said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Cruise Saudi as a new member of the World Travel & Tourism Council. With awe-inspiring cities and stunning landscapes, it is easy to understand why the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is becoming more and more popular each year.

“The Saudi Travel & Tourism sector will be critical to powering the country’s economy once COVID-19 has been combatted, and we look forward to working closely with Cruise Saudi, and continuing our work with the government, to ensure a swift recovery of this fast-growing sector.”

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