Destinations

Cristiano Ronaldo turns down $9.5 million a year to front Saudi Arabian tourism campaign

Portuguese football megastar Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly turned down a €6 million ($9.5 million) a year deal to promote Saudi Arabian tourism.

The 35-year-old striker, who currently plays for Italian club side Juventus, reportedly knocked back the deal due to Saudi Arabia’s appalling human rights record.

According to the UK’s The Telegraph SportSaudi Arabia’s tourism authority wanted to use Ronaldo in a series of ads targeting Europeans that showed the staunchly conservative kingdom as the ideal place to holiday.

It’s been reported that Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi was also offered the gig. However, the claim has not been confirmed by his management.

Saudi Arabia is desperate to throw off its reputation as an authoritative Muslim state and attract more global visitors, as its neighbours Dubai and Qatar have worked hard to do in recent times.

It has faced global condemnation for murdering journalists critical of the country’s authoritarian rulers and the treatment of dissidents and human rights activists. In 2018, Saudi Arabia carried out 184 executions – the third most of any country behind China and Iran.

Saudi Arabia has been flogging its ‘Welcome to Arabia’ tourist campaign to the world since it was unveiled in 2016. Government officials believe the kingdom can no longer rely on oil for much of its revenues, and tourism could prove the ideal replacement.

 

 

In 2017, some 16 million tourists visited the country; however, much of the numbers were to do with religious pilgrimages and the annual Hajj.

In 2019, it was reported that tourism was worth $US25 billion ($32.7 billion) annually to the country. Putting that in perspective, tourism to Australia is worth over $60 billion annually.

And not that Ronaldo needs the work. In June this year, Forbes reported he’d become soccer’s first-ever billionaire, thanks namely to his annual $50 million a year salary from Juventus and a swathe of sponsors such as American Tourister, Tag Heuer, KFC, and Herbalife Nutrition.


Featured image source: Wikimedia Commons/Anton Zaitsev



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Hotels

Hotel Review: La Sultana is an oasis among the chaos of Marrakech

by Nancy Hromin

A peaceful hideaway right in the centre of the Medina’s hustle and bustle, La Sultana is an oasis among the chaos of Marrakech – a chaos we absolutely loved.

Share

CommentComments

News

Aussie travel start-up Ok Away partners with Air Doctor

While it is a cool name, Ok Away also sounds like a good way to end a sentence with someone you wish would leave you alone.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“It’s a shocking insult”: Qantas slammed for asking execs to work as baggage handlers

The bags on your next flight may be handled by Alan Joyce, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your confidence in his ability to fling around 30 kg bags.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Travellers warned over bomb threats against Moldova’s international airport

The government’s travel alert website is advising Aussies to reconsider their need to travel to Moldova, which, given the bomb threats, is probably sound advice.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Intrepid launches citizen science programs in Antarctica

Believe it or not, there is more than one program about understanding phytoplankton (which are a lot more important than you would think)!

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

IHG celebrates 60 years with big surprises + Tim Tam cake

The brand is celebrating its Diamond anniversary with a series of events and surprises for guests, but honestly, they had us at “Tim Tam”.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Exploring the diverse wonderland of Langkawi

by Sponsored by Tourism Malaysia

A venture to Langkawi, an archipelago off Malaysia’s northwest coast, is a must-visit for any adventurer. Read our guide to see why.

Share

CommentComments

News

Iceland volcano eruption sparks travel concerns

Fortunately, we don’t have a Mt. Vesuvius situation going on here, so Islandic folk need not worry about being frozen in time while they’re on the loo.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airport workers get green light on industrial action vote

Aussie airports could face further disruptions after Fair Work gave ground workers its stamp of approval to vote on a potential strike.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

TravelManagers’ ‘Peace of Mind’ attracts high calibre new recruits

by Sponsored by TravelManagers

Many in travel contemplated their next career move during the pandemic. Industry veteran Joanne Miller discussed her experience and spoke on why she moved to TravelManagers.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Commonwealth Games highlights importance of sports tourism

by Ali Coulton

We’ve spent the past two weeks doing our best Sporty Spice impression at the Commonwealth Games. Here’s what we learned.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Entire adds Cook Islands as its newest destination

We were disappointed to find out the Cook Islands is not where they train all the chefs in the world.

Share

CommentComments