Skift Take

Attracting modern travelers requires a keen understanding of their desires and concerns. In this talk, we learn how NEOM is leveraging its breathtaking nature and sustainability commitments to build a future-focused luxury city that caters to younger audiences with a taste for adventure.

This sponsored content was created in collaboration with a Skift partner.

In this video:
  • Building a new Saudi city: NEOM is a new luxury city in Saudi Arabia catering to well-informed travelers seeking out opportunities to explore new destinations, discover unique adventures, and venture off the beaten path.
  • Changing traveler behaviors: Thanks to social media, modern travelers are more aware of global impacts like over-tourism and are increasingly interested in supporting eco-friendly and sustainable travel.
  • Strategic development: NEOM capitalizes on its vast coastline and pristine islands to offer luxury, sustainability, and innovation initiatives ranging from high-end hospitality experiences to hydroponic underwater farms.

In this video from Skift Global Forum East 2023, Kate Irwin, managing director, EMEA at Skift, interviews Billy Canellas, head of asset management at NEOM, about Saudi Arabia’s newest luxury destination. They delve into evolving traveler preferences, especially in light of Gen Z and millennials’ inclination toward exploring offbeat destinations and social media’s role in informing modern travelers about the environmental and cultural impacts of their trips.

NEOM’s strategic development aligns with these changing travel trends. Canellas underscores the importance of catering to the future by considering the impact of over-tourism on traditional destinations. NEOM’s first project, an island called Sindalah, focuses on luxury travelers with high-end hotels, curated culinary offerings, and a strong emphasis on sustainability.

Sustainability is a core aspect of NEOM’s DNA. Initiatives to date include using recyclable materials in construction, transitioning to renewable energy, and innovative projects like robotic fish designed to monitor the health of the underwater ecosystem and hydroponic farms supporting sustainable agriculture. The NEOM golf course’s GEO certification and LEED Platinum hotel certifications showcase the city’s dedication to shrinking its environmental footprint.

This content was created collaboratively by NEOM and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.

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Tags: neom, saudi arabia

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