The trade will be vital in educating people about Red Sea Global and selling the destination, according to its marketing manager.
The ambitious development has started to welcome its first guests after the opening of Six Senses and St Regis, the latter of which is currently undergoing a soft launch before opening fully by the end of December.
Fam trips are likely to take place for the first time early next year and Tracy Lanza, group head of global brand development and marketing, is hopeful they will lead to strong trade engagement.
“The trade is going to be incredibly important for us,” she said. “Right now I think people need the help of the trade, especially when it comes to destinations that are slightly more unknown.
“We know there will be a lot of people who are curious and who have questions, whether it’s about where they should stay or customs issues, and that’s where the trade comes in.”
The Red Sea Global destination – which spans almost 11,000 square miles and includes more than 90 islands – is aiming for between 40-50% of sales through the trade and its DMC, Visit Red Sea, added Lanza.
Lanza said Red Sea Global has been on a “permanent roadshow for the past 18 months” promoting the project and has seen “a lot of enthusiasm” about it, giving her optimism ahead of its full launch.
After the launch of Six Senses and St Regis there are 75 rooms open with another 90 to be added by the end of the year. That will increase to about 300 rooms by the end of Q1 next year and Lanza said “we will have no problem filling them”.
By 2030, The Red Sea will offer 50 hotels, 8,000 rooms, more than 1,000 residential properties and its own international airport.
When asked whether the conflict between Israel and Hamas could hamper Red Sea Global’s sales, Lanza said: “Obviously we all hope diplomacy will prevail – that is the most important thing – but I think education is one of the most important aspects regarding travel to Saudi.
“I don’t think people realise how large the Middle East is.”
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