Red Sea project, NEOM, to accelerate regenerative tourism to Saudi

Technology, fun, culture pave a clear path to rediscovery
Red Sea project, NEOM, to accelerate regenerative tourism to Saudi
Regenerative tourism

Astonishing coral reefs, diverse marine life, clear blue water, and soft sandy shores.

The Red Sea is one of the most attractive tourism destinations, with nearby countries such as Saudi and Egypt capitalizing on their strategic location and building hundreds of lucrative tourist destinations.

The latest of these projects is Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project, a 28,000-square-kilometer sustainable tourism resort featuring more than 90 unspoiled islands along Saudi’s west coast.

The project is being undertaken by The Red Sea Development Co., known as TRSDC, one of the world’s largest and most influential tourism companies and which began work on the project months ago.

Upon completion in 2030, the Red Sea Project will consist of 50 hotels with 8,000 rooms and 1,300 residential properties. In its first phase, the destination will see 16 hotels and 3,000 keys, set to open this year and in 2023. The project has sustainability high on its agenda, which is why it will house its own water bottling facility, as well as a renewable energy plant. Indeed, there are plans to have the entire resort powered by sustainable energy.

The multi-billion-dollar site is one of the key projects of the Saudi Vision 2030 – a national economic diversification project set to move the Kingdom away from relying on oil revenues.

But that’s not all.

TRSDC has high hopes that its project will introduce, and become a brand ambassador globally, for what has now become known as regenerative tourism.

Regenerative tourism is similar to environmentally sustainable traveling, only it takes it a step further by offering a holistic experience that focuses “on what really matters”, such as leaving destinations better than when you found them. Goals such as having clean water, clean energy, recyclable materials, and also fun experiences, are all relevant here. It is a slowly expanding sector that has its roots in regenerative development and design.  There are hopes that The Red Sea project could become so influential in the regenerative tourism segment that it could be exported outside of the Kingdom.

TRSDC’s Executive Director of Asset Management, Christopher Ford, told Hotelier Middle East: “This platform can go global. I think we are pioneering and setting new standards – the regenerative offering we have can work. Maybe even before 2030, we could do that.”

Saudi Red Sea Project will open to visitors in 2023, showing a much-anticipated new side of the Kingdom.

Regenerative NEOM


Futuristic Saudi city NEOM has similar aims. Speaking at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, NEOM Managing Director for Tourism Andrew McEvoy said “The world has commoditized travel. Technology has improved customer experiences in most sectors.”

He added that NEOM is building a future destination where raw nature, ingenious tech, and Arabian culture co-mix, helping compound added values for travelers and residents alike.

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