Saudi tourism puts on the Ritz in Riyadh


From the vantage point of the lobby of the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, the post-pandemic world looks an increasingly optimistic place.

While not as bustling as when the famed hotel and King Abdulaziz Conference Center is packed to the gunwales for the Future Investment Initiative (FII), the event staged there this week — the Tourism Recovery Summit (TRS) — drew a large and appreciative crowd, all of them glad, like me, to be back at face-to-face meetings after months of soulless Zoom.

1 The world, as viewed from Saudi Arabia, is gradually but assuredly awakening from the pandemic nightmare. The 200 plus attendees at the TRS came from the four corners of the earth, and all reported that conditions in their industry — tourism and travel — were improving after the worst year in memory. The audience gave big shout-outs in particular to Jamaica and Greece for the self-confidence with which they advertised their countries’ attractions — respectively, as the home of the best music…

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