PIF-backed Cruise Saudi joins World Travel & Tourism Council

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Cruise Saudi
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Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF)-backed company, Cruise Saudi has confirmed that it has become a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Cruise Saudi, launched at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) earlier this year, is committed to bringing the global cruise industry to Saudi Arabia. The company has 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. 

The company has also signed agreements with leading global cruise operators to bring their ships to Saudi waters. MSC Bellissima, owned by MSC Cruises, a privately-owned cruise line, and luxury liner Scenic Eclipse, have both been sailing the Saudi coastline during the summer season. 

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

Fawaz Farooqui
Fawaz Farooqui
MD – Cruise Saudi

“Our membership of WTTC is an 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, and we have begun to develop world-class infrastructure that has enabled us to start welcoming them. Through WTTC, we seek to alert the global cruise industry not only to the attractions of our country but also to its ability to provide seamless and 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.”

Joining the Council will allow Cruise Saudi to be in the 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 global travel trends and learning from the best practitioners in the sector.

Ms. Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC said, “We are delighted to be welcoming Cruise Saudi as a member of the council. 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.”

Related: Saudi PIF’s Soudah Development outlines its plans to protect environment