During the meeting of the 113th Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Saudi Arabia stressed the importance for the international community to work together to ensure the full recovery of the sector especially as vaccines campaigns are accelerated globally, said a report.
The meeting reviewed a number of issues related to the organisation’s efforts to serve the international tourism sector in cooperation with member states. This included the efforts to help the recovery of the sector by standardising international protocols to lift restrictions on the movement of travelers, and continued coordination to support the private sector., said a report in Saudi Gazette.
Saudi Arabia expressed its appreciation to Spain for hosting of the 113th Executive Council meeting and commended the efforts of the UN World Tourism Organization geared towards the development and recovery of the tourism sector worldwide.
Haifa Al Jedea, general supervisor of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Tourism, said: “Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to cooperation and partnerships with international organisations like the UN World Tourism Organization, and we are delighted that the UNWTO is able to recognise the kingdom’s tourism priorities and ambitions through selecting Riyadh as its regional hub. The UNWTO Middle East Regional Office will open and be fully functioning in the first half of this year.”
Al Jedea added: “The UNWTO office will play an essential role in building up the sector not only for the region, but also for surrounding countries in Africa and Asia. The collaboration with the UNWTO to establish this office underlines the Kingdom’s commitment to international cooperation aimed at supporting the tourism sector regionally and globally.”
Tourism is a fundamental pillar of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to raise the contribution of the tourism sector to 10 per cent of GDP, in addition to creating one million new job opportunities by 2030. The country also seeks to be a leading global tourism destination, hosting 100 million visits annually by 2030.
This will be achieved in partnership with the international community, as Saudi Arabia works with other countries to help build a thriving global tourism industry and develop sustainable tourism destinations, the report said.