Holidaying at home is becoming more of a popular choice for Saudi youth, becoming more curious to discover their homeland.
Saudi journalist and presenter Ahmed Sahab has introduced a new perspective to traveling in his first TV reality show, which gives viewers the chance to see what lies within the hidden corners of Saudi Arabia.
“Discover KSA” the first documentary of its kind with English subtitles to take its audience into adventures casting inside the depths of the red sea to the vast deserts, and up high into the mountaintops.
“Currently the show is aired on OSN satellite channels, but there are new plans to expand it into other channels including MBC,” Sahab said. “The whole concept of the show is to bring a Saudi audience back to their own roots by attracting them to their own traditions, culture and heritage,” he added.
Sahab told Al Arabiya that aside from promoting “in-house” tourism, the show highlights the important to preserve heritage and save environment. “We had launched ‘Love the Gulf’ as part of our initiative,” he said.
The show has also focused on the adventure aspect of a trip where Ahmed and his crew explore new places in the kingdom and camp out in the wild for the sake of the adventure.
“Instead of people heading to Europe or Asia for their vacations, more youth are finding in-house tourism much more exciting and rewarding,” Sahab said.
The rise of domestic tourism has been backed by traditionally targeted hotspots for religious tourism during Ramadan, where hotel occupancy at five start hotels reached almost 84 percent, up by more than 3.1 percent compared with the same month last year, according to TRI Hospitality Consulting firm.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Ministry of tourism and Antiquities is forecasting programs to prompt domestic tourism.
“The domestic tourism potential is very important because the population is so large in number,” Chiheb Ben Mahmoud, the senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels Middle East and Africa told a Gulf daily.
“Every year the Saudis spend billions on international travel throughout the Middle East, and the United States. There is a potential for the country to capture a percentage of that,” he added.