Visit Saudi strikes ‘one of a kind’ deal with La Liga

Spain’s professional football league La Liga and Visit Saudi have signed a ‘one of a kind’ global partnership deal to showcase the country as a tourist destination.

The strategic agreement will be followed by brand promotions of the destination in the UK as Saudi Arabia seeks closer ties between its tourist industry and sports organisations to boost its profile as a tourist destination and attract sports fans in a similar way to neighbouring countries such as Dubai and Qatar.

The collaboration follows a historical connection between La Liga and Saudi Arabia – the destination has more than six official fan clubs for La Liga teams and footballers from both countries have played for teams in each other’s leagues. La Liga is one of the most followed leagues in Saudi Arabia, where football is already the most played and most popular sport.

La Liga ambassador Iker Casillas said: The great development of sport and sporting events in Saudi Arabia represents a real boost to the attractiveness of the destination, adding to its cultural interest and amazing landscapes. We are sure that this new partnership will be a success in connecting and attracting both football and sports fans in general, as well as new followers.”

Saudi Tourism Authority chief executive Fahd Hamidaddin said the deal will help to elevate the destination for sports tourism, in particular footfall, with further partnerships, sponsorship deals and consumer events set to be developed.

He said: “Football and travel bridge cultures and unite people. Saudi Arabia has millions of incredibly passionate football fans and as we continue to create a dynamic year-round destination, full of cultural events, we look forward to welcoming international travellers to experience the largest sporting and cultural exchange in sporting history, helping us in bringing the world to Saudi and bringing Saudi to the world.”

Saudi Arabia has recently outlined plans to become one of the world’s leading destinations by 2030.

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