Saudi Tourism Authority signs MoU with UnionPay International in bid to encourage Chinese tourism

Saudi Arabia aims to be a top-five global tourism destination by 2030, with China being a key source market and one of 49 countries eligible for tourist e-visas

The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese global payment services provider UnionPay International. The agreement will support the development and strengthening of Saudi Arabia ’s positioning as a tourism destination for UnionPay cardholders. unionpay saudi arabia

The MoU aims to enhance Saudi’s competitive advantage in attracting Chinese travellers to the country with STA and UnionPay International promoting Saudi as a UnionPay-friendly destination for the global Chinese community.

Saudi has ambitious plans for the tourism sector and aims to be a top-5 global tourism destination by 2030. China is a key source market for Saudi Tourism and one of 49 countries eligible for tourist eVisas. By 2030, China is forecast to be Saudi’s largest source market for international visits from Asia Pacific.

UnionPay already has extensive partnerships with banks in Saudi, including Al Rajhi, SNB, Al Inma, Albilad and Riyad. The payment services provider is actively expanding, with the acceptance rate of UnionPay cards in Saudi expected to increase to more than 70% by the end of this year.

Saudi Tourism Authority CEO and Member of the Board Fahd Hamidaddin said: “Today’s announcement is another significant step in our journey to position Saudi as a leading global tourism destination for the Chinese traveller.

“As Saudi accelerates its China-readiness programme across the different visitor touchpoints, this exceptional partnership will ensure Saudi is top of mind for Chinese travellers and UnionPay cardholders wanting to explore and experience the authentic home of Arabia.”


11 countries and regions in the Middle East already accept UnionPay cards unionpay saudi arabia

UnionPay International Head of Middle East James Yang said: “This signing is an important part of UnionPay’s internationalisation strategy, and we hope that through continuous and in-depth cooperation, we can drive the development of tourism in Saudi.

“Together with Saudi Tourism Authority, we are creating opportunities for growth and creating greater convenience for our Chinese and global UnionPay cardholders.”

UnionPay has accelerated its regional business in recent years, to better meet the needs between China and the Middle East. At present, 11 countries and regions in the Middle East region accept UnionPay cards.

According to an SAT forecast, China will become Saudi’s largest source market for international visits from the Asia Pacific region by 2030.

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