The Saudi Tourism Authority has signed a memorandum of understanding with Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology arm of the Alibaba Group, the country’s official news agency said on Thursday, August 26. The MoU establishes the framework for a collaborative arrangement that will create a seamless visitor experience for Chinese tourists traveling to Saudi Arabia, said the agency. The agreement is said to be part of STA’s strategy to employ the latest technology to deliver seamless traveler experiences. Alibaba Cloud is also expected to provide technical support to STA and help it promote Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination to travelers in the Chinese market. Through the collaboration, Alibaba Cloud will apparently deploy advanced, secure, and reliable cloud services and technologies to create an improved digital experience for Chinese tourists traveling to Saudi. It is also expected to allow for the automation of services in content delivery, digital storage, and digital processing. STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin was quoted by the Saudi Press Agency as saying: “As Saudi [Arabia] continues to develop its leisure tourism offering for local, regional and international audiences, STA is building a digital infrastructure which can provide the destination with a competitive edge and visitors with the best possible experience.” He added: “The recovery of the global tourism sector demands fresh thinking to overcome challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.” Alibaba Cloud Intelligence’s General Manager of International Business, Selina Yuan, said on the occasion: “This collaboration brings together two key actors in the tourism sector who can set a new standard for providing a travel experience like no other.” Saudi Arabia, as part of Vision 2030, is actively looking to diversify its economy so as to reduce its dependence on oil. Tourism is expected to be an active part of that plan, with the country making an active push to project itself as a leisure destination. In fact, a major component of the projects worth $1 trillion that Saudi Arabia has announced so far are hotel rooms and hospitality facilities across the country. In fact, the industry is expected to create 1 million jobs within the country, if things go according to plan.
CNY - Chinese Yuan Renminbi