Former Visit Victoria marketing strategist lands role with Saudi Arabian cultural site

Experienced Australian marketer to become executive director of marketing for the AlUla heritage and cultural site

Melanie De Souza
Melanie De Souza

Former Visit Victoria general manager of digital, marketing services and strategy, Melanie De Souza, is relocating to Saudi Arabia to take up an executive marketing role at one of the world’s most significant forthcoming destinations.  

The experienced tourism and hospitality industry marketing and strategy leader spent 20 years with Tourism Victoria, which rebranded to Visit Victoria in July 2017, holding several roles including general manager of international marketing and director of marketing and airline services. It was De Souza’s work on helping the tourism entity define its new position and approach that saw her listed in the 2018 edition of the CMO50.  

Prior to this, she was director of sales and marketing for Oberoi Hotels and Resorts in Melbourne.  

De Souza now takes up the role of executive director of marketing with the Saudi Royal Commission of the forthcoming AlUla heritage and cultural site, based in Riyadh.   

The significant 6th century BC walled city site will be unveiled in October 2020 and at more than 29,000 square kilometres, represents the size of Belgium. As De Souza explained it, the site features dramatic landscapes and traces from civilisations past going back to the Nabateans with some relics dating back to the Bronze age, and corresponds to the old incense route.  

The AlUla project is worth $6 billion and represents one of three significant initiatives associated with Saudi's vision 2030 and the push to diversify the economy away from oil.    

De Souza told CMO she had been “truly blown away” by the site on a recent trip.  

“I feel truly privileged to be joining a classy outfit, with several expats on-board and a big job ahead on many fronts,” she said, adding there’s hefty marketing budget involved.  

“On my recent trip I gained first-hand appreciation of what working in Saudi as an expat woman would be like and a gauge on the living and working conditions. I am also conscious the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia country brand is challenged and we will need to address this as security, safety and human rights weigh heavily on people's minds in destination decision-making.”  

Currently, visas are largely restricted to the kingdom. But with 30 countries soon to be granted access to e-tourist visas, the opportunities are huge, De Souza said.  

“Overall, I’m excited about the opportunity and feel it's a once in the lifetime chance to shape a significant new global tourism experience - that should more than rival the likes of Machu Pichhu and Petra - and affect its marketing fortunes,” she said.  

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia. 

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

We can deliver DIP N PAY JP54,JET A1,D2,FOB @Rotterdam CRUDE OIL CIF /DIP N PAY TANKFARM CHINA ,we have sellers that can work based on st...

JSafra Bank

Google+ and Blogger cozy up with new comment system

Read more

JP54,D2, D6, JetA1 EN590Dear Buyer/ Buyer mandate,We currently have Available FOB Rotterdam/Houston for JP54,D2, D6,JetA1 with good and w...

Collins Johnson

Oath to fully acquire Yahoo7 from Seven West Media

Read more

Great content and well explained. Everything you need to know about Digital Design, this article has got you covered. You may also check ...

Ryota Miyagi

Why the art of human-centred design has become a vital CX tool

Read more

Interested in virtual events? If you are looking for an amazing virtual booth, this is definitely worth checking https://virtualbooth.ad...

Cecille Pabon

Report: Covid effect sees digital events on the rise long-term

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing such an informative article. It’s really impressive.Click Here & Create Status and share with family

Sanwataram

Predictions: 14 digital marketing predictions for 2021

Read more

Blog Posts

A Brand for social justice

In 2020, brands did something they’d never done before: They spoke up about race.

Dipanjan Chatterjee and Xiaofeng Wang

VP and principal analyst and senior analyst, Forrester

Determining our Humanity

‘Business as unusual’ is a term my organisation has adopted to describe the professional aftermath of COVID-19 and the rest of the tragic events this year. Social distancing, perspex screens at counters and masks in all manner of situations have introduced us to a world we were never familiar with. But, as we keep being reminded, this is the new normal. This is the world we created. Yet we also have the opportunity to create something else.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Should your business go back to the future?

In times of uncertainty, people gravitate towards the familiar. How can businesses capitalise on this to overcome the recessionary conditions brought on by COVID? Craig Flanders explains.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

Sign in