22:23 25 Sep 2021

Ukraine to develop wellness, business tourism with Saudi Arabia

Ukraine intends to develop health and business tourism with Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Arabian Gulf, seeing the area as promising.

That's according to the chief of the State Agency for Tourism Development, Mariana Oleskiv, who spoke at an Ukrinform press conference.

Oleskiv considers developing tourism with Saudi Arabia a "very promising" field as over the three summer months alone, 41,000 citizens of this country visited Ukraine, which is 10 times the number recorded throughout 2019.

"This fall, we're set to host several tours for Saudi bloggers and media to show them destinations for both health and business tourism, as well as the conference industry, so that companies from the Arabian Gulf can come join us at such conferences," she said.

Oleskiv said work was underway to liberalize the visa regime including for all residents of the Arabian Gulf.

"The visa regime should be liberalized for residents of the Arabian Gulf countries who are employed there while not being citizens of these countries. Today, they face some rather complicated visa formalities. We are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President to streamline their opportunities for obtaining visas, because thanks to this we will be seeing larger groups of business tourists coming to partake in conferences in Ukraine, "she said.

Oleskiv noted that most tourists from Saudi Arabia also travel beyond Kyiv, to western Ukraine, so the agency plans to present opportunities for all-season recreation in the said region.

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