We curate strategy highlights with a deep dive into the Visit Saudi tourism department and how they use social media to create a dreamy world one must experience.
Powered by the Saudi Tourism Authority, Visit Saudi is the country’s invitation to the world, a marketing effort to familiarise people with their language and culture. Saudi Arabia opened up to tourists in a landmark decision in September 2019, to reduce the country’s economic dependence on oil. The country opened up a visa regime in 49 countries and relaxed the strict dress code for female visitors. Visit Saudi Social Media handles were created to reflect and promote this development.
According to official sources, Saudi Arabia’s overall number of tourist trips was on course to hit 93.8 million by 2023, up from 64.7 million in 2018. The numbers, however, reflect the pre-pandemic situation.
Soon after the historic decision, COVID-19 gripped the world, pretty much halting tourism completely. With global revival now on cards, Visit Saudi has been aggressively marketing to tourists; this includes mediums such as OOH, Tripadvisor, and digital marketing.
With social media, Visit Saudi disseminates information about the various places one can visit on their trip, including Riyadh, Dammam, Al Ahsa, Yanbu, Taif, Jeddah, and more.
Potential tourists are also routinely driven to check the Visit Saudi website for more information about travel and activities one can indulge in once they are there. Pictures shared by the authorities are breathtaking as well as informative — they portray a mix of heritage and modernity.
One of the most recurring post format used by Visit Saudi is trivia. They share an interesting fact about the place, often reeling people in with historical facts, and then building intrigue about them — nudging people to read more. These are packaged as reasons for visiting the said places.
In some cases, the format is used to document and share a crucial part of the Arabian culture that can be added to the trip — enhancing and enriching one’s experience. The format is also used to share a part of the information, asking people to fill in the blanks. A few hours later, the answer is usually shared.
Though most of the content — pictures, videos, trivia and links — are shared by Visit Saudi across social media platforms, Twitter holds a special value in their marketing strategy because of the option of non-ephemeral polls and other engaging formats. Often, audiences are asked to like or retweet based on the preferences for the choices being shared. Instagram’s Like and Comment options are used similarly.
While sharing pictures on different social media platforms, Visit Saudi often tweaks the communication format to suit what works on a particular platform. For example, people were told about two possible experiences in the caption accompanying a picture of trekkers on Facebook. On Twitter, the same picture was used to take a poll among people, providing them with the two experiences to choose from.
Whether it’s a challenging hike up the mountains or a pleasant stroll through the wadis, winter in Saudi offers visitors…Posted by Visit Saudi on Sunday, 24 January 2021
Promoting Curated Experiences
When one is planning a trip to a new country, they are likely to look at wholesome experiences and bigger packages, and not merely a city or two. The experiences being sought are usually centred around themes, which are linked to the motive or occasion of travel.
Recently, Visit Saudi had come up with a guide of curated activities one can indulge in during winter months. It was promoted across social media platforms. On some occasions, they have also shared pictures of a place with their website’s link to nudge people into reading more about the curated experiences that particular city has to offer.
Saudi Arabia is a blend of historical heritage and modernity — and it got beautiful desserts! On a casual scroll through their social media profiles, especially Instagram, one can see these values merge and emerge. They are trying to depict how they have something for all. Every picture shared by Visit Saudi makes for a visual treat, irrespective of whether or not it features humans or experiences.
They make you feel the urge to visit — pretty much mission accomplished!
Given the impact of COVID-19 on cautious travel, all tourism authorities and brands are facing unprecedented challenges. On one hand, they got an economy to contribute to, on the other manage safety of travellers. It’s tricky terrain but one that they have been manoeuvring fairly well. Social media is visibly coming to their rescue, just as in the case of Visit Saudi.