SAUDI ARABIA- Lionel Messi has returned to endorse Saudi Arabia in a campaign aimed at breaking down “walls” of “misconception” and challenging “outdated stereotypes.” The campaign, titled “Go Beyond What You Think,” highlights the transformative influence of travel.
In May of the previous year, Messi posted pictures from his visit to Diriyah in Saudi Arabia, fulfilling contractual commitments linked to his partnership with the country’s tourism authority.
Lionel Messi Partners with VisitSaudi
According to a report in the New York Times, this arrangement could potentially earn him millions over three years. As a component of the “Saudi, Welcome to Arabia” brand, the campaign is scheduled for launch across key markets in Europe, India, and China, spanning a three-month period. It will be disseminated through television, social media, and digital platforms.
The campaign is founded on consumer insights that unveiled prevailing misconceptions about the destination. It aims to invite audiences to witness the remarkable and lively cultural transformation unfolding in Saudi Arabia, as stated in a press release from the tourism board.
Messi, engaged in a paid partnership with Visit Saudi, shared the campaign video on his Instagram account. He encourages those who have visited Saudi Arabia to share their experiences and urges others to explore the country.
This endeavor, part of Saudi Tourism’s continual endeavors to broaden perspectives and foster cultural understanding through tourism, aligns with the “Tourism Opens Minds” initiative under the recently-renamed UN Tourism.
‘Tourism Opens Minds’
The video showcases the varied landscapes of Saudi Arabia, including the Red Sea, the verdant mountains of Aseer, the snow-covered terrain of Tabuk, the coastal city of Jeddah, and the capital, Riyadh.
It showcases various attractions, such as the Diriyah E-Prix, Riyadh Season’s theme park, hot air balloon flights in AlUla, and music events by MDL Beast. Messi celebrates the achievements of the Saudi Women’s National football team, motorsport athlete Dania Akeel, DJ Cosmicat, and Rayyanah Barnawi, the first Saudi woman in space.
The campaign is launching in anticipation of Messi’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia, where he will participate in two matches with his current football club, Inter Miami, against Al Hilal on January 29 and Al Nassr on February 1.
Saudi Vision 2030
Aligned with its vision to evolve into a tourism and leisure powerhouse by 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to attract 150 million tourists annually, with tourism contributing 10% to the Saudi economy.
Significant investments totaling hundreds of billions of dollars have been allocated for the development of “giga-projects” in deserts, mountains, and waterfronts, all set to be unveiled within the next seven years or sooner.
The country has also streamlined entry procedures, introducing the eVisa program covering 63 countries and special administrative regions, along with the GCC residents visa.
Additionally, a free 96-hour stopover visa is available, offering visitors a complimentary one-night hotel stay when booking with the national carrier, SAUDIA. Travelers can utilize the stopover visa to explore Saudi Arabia and partake in Umrah.
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