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Saudi Arabia launches NFT souvenirs at the World Tourism Organization’s Executive Council

Through its Tourism Ministry, Saudi Arabia has launched its first NFT souvenirs.

By Anna B Kiwanuka

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The Saudi Tourism Ministry and the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) have recently announced the creation of non-fungible token (NFT) souvenirs.

The Saudi Arabia Minister of Tourism and Chairman Board of Directors of the Saudi Tourism Authority, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, handed the personalized digital mementos, that is to say, the NFT souvenirs to the Heads of Delegations appreciating their attendance at the 116th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council, which was recently held in Jeddah, a city in Saudi Arabia.

A virtual reality art show was conducted on the sidelines of the UNWTO meeting, where a creative artist painted a selection of 3D landscapes inspired by virtual Saudi landmarks. 

These paintings were then converted into NFTs and gifted to the guests along with a ledger wallet that provides an address on the blockchain to access their exclusively owned artworks.

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The NFTs souvenirs, according to Al-Khateeb, represent the leadership’s vision for Saudi Arabia’s future and its commitment to digital transformation.

“As technology advances, it is important that we remain at the forefront of innovation,” he said.

According to him, the Kingdom’s tourism infrastructure is built to allow it to embrace new trends and digital transformation, which is one of the ministry’s major priorities.

“The NFTs serve as a bold statement to the world by showing them how distinguished Saudi Arabia is, which has been able to develop an unparalleled tourism sector, where travelers can expect to see and experience unique and futuristic offerings in the Kingdom.”

The Minister of Tourism expressed his happiness that the UNWTO’s guests were able to obtain a digital embodiment through the NFTs souvenirs.

He said, “We are delighted that our guests will get to take home a digital manifestation of their unforgettable moments spent here in the Kingdom’s most exciting touristic landmarks.”

It’s worth noting that Saudi Arabia has achieved significant progress in digital transformation and is working to accelerate the growth of its digital economy in line with Vision 2030’s directions.

The Ministry of Tourism, as part of its commitment to these goals, released a three-year Digital Tourism Strategy earlier this year.

The plan focuses on nine creative projects consisting of 31 main initiatives, with the goal of boosting the sector’s growth, creating new jobs, and fostering innovation.

It’s also worth noting that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) allow creators from all over the world to keep and prove ownership of a digital asset for their creative products, which can include anything from art to music to audio recordings to a tweet, in order to profit from ownership.

The NFTs can be stored on the blockchain system, which is used to track cryptocurrency transactions.


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