SAUDI ARABIA HOSTS UN MEETING ON TOURISM RESUME, AGREES ON STEPS TO STRENGTHEN SECTOR FOR RESILIENCE, SUSTAINABILITY AND PROSPERITY
His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, Saudi Arabiacommented : “Tourism is a vital engine of growth, opportunity and development and today we stand at a global crossroads. Our sector could create 58 million jobs in 2022, to reach more than 330 million, just 1% below pre-pandemic levels. This can only be achieved with strong leadership, a clear vision and resources.
“The restart of tourism in many countries around the world offers a unique chance to rethink tourism governance, communications and beyond. We have an incredible opportunity to chart a new course, to create a strong future for the global tourism sector, and we must seize it. .”
Adopting the agenda for the meeting, Member States welcomed the report on current trends in international tourism provided by the UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili alongside UNWTO monitoring reports and tools developed since the outbreak of COVID-19.
UNWTO Secretary-General, His Excellency Zurab Pololikashvili, and His Excellency Siandou Fofana, Minister of Tourism of Côte d’Ivoire and Chairman of the UNWTO Executive Council, said: “It is our shared responsibility to shape a more sustainable tourism sector. We must rethink tourism development, reinvent tourism destinations and businesses, and rebuild the entire tourism ecosystem. The 116th Executive Council of the OMT is where we come together to take the first steps towards this ambitious but vital goal. Thank you, Saudi Arabiafor allowing us to meet in person and start this journey.”
The two-day meeting, held in the historic city of Jeddah, is the largest in-person meeting of the Executive Council held since the start of the pandemic. Aimed at fostering strong coordination among Member States to boost the recovery of global tourism, the meeting demonstrated the determination of the Executive Council to adopt a concerted approach.
His Excellency was joined in Jeddah by ministers and representatives from 35 Executive Council Member States, alongside global tourism leaders and private sector decision makers.
***NOTE TO EDITORS
Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia The Ministry of Tourism leads the Saudi tourism ecosystem, with support from the Saudi Tourism Authority and the Tourism Development Fund.
The Ministry defines the strategy for the Kingdom’s tourism sector and is responsible for developing policies and regulations, developing human capital, collecting statistics and attracting investment. It works in partnership with the Saudi Tourism Authority, which promotes Saudi Arabia as a global tourist destination, and the Tourism Development Fund, which executes the ministry’s investment strategy by financing the development of the sector.
Led by His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, the Ministry was founded in February 2020following the opening of Saudi Arabia to international leisure tourists for the first time in its history in 2019. Saudi Arabia aims to welcome 100 million tourist visits by 2030, increasing the sector’s contribution to GDP from 3% to 10%.
About the United Nations World Tourism Organization
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and provides leadership and support to the sector to advance knowledge and tourism policies around the world.
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SOURCE Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia