Tourism Minister Heads Saudi Arabia’s Delegation to 1st Meeting of UNWTO General Assembly Since COVID-19 Outbreak

Wednesday 1443/4/26 - 2021/12/01
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Madrid, Dec 1, 2021, SPA -- Minister of Tourism Ahmed bin Aqil Al-Khatib is heading the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the first meeting of
the General Assembly of UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Representatives of more than 100 countries flocked to Madrid to attend the highly important meeting of the UNWTO, which is specialized in supervising endeavors to develop and coordinate the international tourism sector.
The General Assembly meeting is held during a critical phase for the Organization and the international tourism sector that was greatly affected by the global health pandemic.
The minister Al-Khatib pointed out that the tourism sector is among the most important economic sectors, indicating that the sector provided 330 jobs around the world before the pandemic and its contributions to the world GDP reached US$9 trillion.
He also stressed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeks to seize the opportunity of holding this meeting to renew its calls to boost efforts aimed at enhancing
international coordination aspects to protect the tourism sector, especially in facing the new variant Omicron that led to hindering the travel movement over the past few days.
Also, he said, “The international response to the Omicron variant showed us the importance of the effective coordination for the global response efforts, where the main lesson learned from the COVID-19 crisis was the significance of coordinating international efforts and ensuring the big role of tourism in out economies. The World Tourism Organization, and we as member states, has the responsibility to speed up the recovery process and redrawing the characteristics of the sector in preparation for the future, and we hope that the next meeting of the General Assembly to address these points.”
19:24 LOCAL TIME 16:24 GMT