The number of tourists from Saudi Arabia to Ukraine reached 48,700 people in nine months of 2021, which is 10 times more than in entire 2019, the State Agency for Tourism Development reported at a recent aviation tourism forum in Boryspil (Kyiv region).The agency clarified that its calculations were based on the assumption that the minimum expenses of one tourist are $2,000, while, according to expert estimates, they amount to $2,000-3,000.The agency indicated that the cost of the promotional campaign in the Saudi Arabian market was $120,000, another $26,000 was spent on promotional tours.Among the success factors, the agency also named the entry of the leading low-cost airline of Saudi Arabia flynas into the Ukrainian market in May this year and the flights of the Ukrainian SkyUp.At the same time, the agency indicated that in the first half of 2021, the number of tourists to Ukraine decreased by 31.54%, to 1.424 million people. The drop in the indicator was primarily due to tourists from Europe, as a result, their share decreased to 70.4% from 80% in the same period in 2020, while the share of tourists from Asia increased from 10.3% to 24.4%.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine intends to agree with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the mutual abolition of short-term visas for holders of diplomatic, special and service passports.
The relevant draft memorandum of understanding was approved at the Wednesday government meeting.
It is expected that the signing of the memorandum will establish a symmetric travel regime for Ukrainian citizens who use diplomatic and service passports and Saudi Arabians who hold diplomatic and service passports to another state.
In particular, the memorandum stipulates the possibility of visa-free travel up to 90 days within 180 days.
An influential official and businessman from Saudi Arabia, Abdulrahman Alolaya, arrived in Ukraine on an unofficial business visit.
He is the CEO of the TaibahVally investment campaign and one of the leaders of the national investment program “Saudi Vision 2030”, which is looking for the most profitable and innovative areas for investment. The Sovereign Wealth Fund of Saudi Arabia, which finances the program, is one of the largest investment funds in the world.
The meeting took place at the Ministry of Digital Transformation. The guest was told about the developments in the field of digital state. Alexander Bornyakov, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for IT Development, promised to provide a list of the most successful Ukrainian startups and promote cooperation in every possible way.
“Ukraine is very interesting for us, because it has a lot of experience in modern technologies, there are highly qualified personnel and interesting startups. At the same time, the investment market is in the early stages of development and this is a good period for investing,” said Abdulrahman Alolaya.
Abdulrahman Alolaya also visited the offices of several Ukrainian technology companies, including UNITCity.
“Ukraine has a large number of interesting IT services. However, the weak marketing of these services to the Arab market leads to the fact that they do not know about it. We want to fix it,” said Ukrainian businessman Oleksandr Chechuga. He and his partners invited an Arab investor to Ukraine. Dmitry Buravel and Alexander Chechuga are co-owners of the Ukrainian company BlockHunter, which work with block chain technologies, develops electricity storage systems; Roman Movchan is the owner and CEO of PrimeBerry, one of the largest producers and exporters of berries. These companies have already managed to enter the Saudi market and are ready to help other Ukrainian startups.
More guests from Saudi Arabia were interested in Ukrainian developments in the fields of education, block chain and digital government services.
Flynas Airlines (Saudi Arabia) will start operating direct regular flights from Riyadh to Lviv from July 3.
According to the information on the airline’s website, flights will be operated twice a week.
In addition, direct flights of the airline from Jeddah to Kyiv will be launched on July 2. They will be operated three times a week.
Earlier, the Ukrainian SkyUp Airlines announced the launch of charter flights from Lviv to Saudi Arabia (Al-Qassim).
SkyUp Airlines (Kyiv) has launched charter flights from Lviv to Al-Qassim (Saudi Arabia), the company’s press service said on Tuesday.
“On 20 June, Lviv International Airport welcomed the first SkyUp charter aircraft from Al-Qassim, Saudi Arabia. It is expected that this flight will launch a number of planned flights by the airline from the Arabian Gulf countries to Ukraine,” the report said.
According to Head of the State Agency for Tourism Development Maryana Oleskiv, who is cited by SkyUp, the countries of the Arabian Gulf, together with the Central Asia region, are priority areas for the development of inbound tourism in Ukraine.
In addition, on June 20, SkyUp launched regular direct flights from Kyiv to Pula (Croatia). They will be operated on Thursdays and Sundays.
From June 23, the airline will also launch flights from Kyiv to Split, Croatia (flights will be operated on Wednesdays and Saturdays), and from June 25 – to Dubrovnik (flights will be operated on Fridays).
Direct flights to Pula are also operated by Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) and Windrose Airlines, and to Split – by UIA.
As reported, Flynas Airlines (Saudi Arabia) on June 11 launched its first flight from Kyiv to Riyadh. Prior to that, Ukraine did not have regular direct flights with Saudi Arabia.
Ascania-Pack, part of the Ascania muti-profile Ukrainian holding, has started exporting honey to Saudi Arabia.
According to a company press release on Monday, the first batch of 12.2 tonnes was shipped in December.
“Saudi Arabia has become the eighteenth country in the world where the company exports cream honey for the retail market, including the United States, Canada, Singapore, Iraq, Qatar, as well as European countries,” the company said.
Ascania-Pack is a large Ukrainian exporter of honey, has its own production, which allows processing more than 20,000 tonnes of honey per year.