Domestic tourism to the fore

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been working towards ensuring a safer destination for all its residents.  Earlier a stimulus package of 50 billion riyals for the private sector came into effect and lately the promotion of domestic tourism shows signs of progress. Waeil Alharthi, General Manager, Sama Al Mosafer Travel and Tourism shares with TRAVTALK.

Shehara Rizly

What are areas the company works on?

Our business is both inbound and outbound, catering to leisure and corporate clients. We have many customers for entertainment and many contracts with companies to facilitate their travel.

As an agent what are the main challenges faced in the pandemic era?

Customer satisfaction is the biggest challenge we faced, but it was not difficult. When we first heard about the spread of the virus, we provided advice to customers to postpone their travel, which reduced our number of reservations. However, we did not face any problem regarding cancellations and retrieving financial amounts from suppliers.

Could you share the strategies taken to maintain relations with your clients?

Dealing with customers is very similar to dealing with friends, so we persuaded customers who made reservations to postpone their travel and provided documents that preserved their rights to enjoy the same trip at another time after the pandemic ended. In this way we overcame many of the problems of cancellations and returns.

What are the countries that you feel those in KSA will find easier or rather safer to travel post COVID?

UAE and the State of Bahrain are destinations which travellers in the KSA will find safer to travel to post the pandemic due to KSA’s proximity to these destinations and also the existence of government coordination between these countries that guarantees the safety of citizens. In addition, some tourist islands that did not face the problems of coronavirus significantly could be the preferred destinations.

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