The 46th meeting of the UNWTO Commission for the Middle East recently took place, with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism, HE Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb, participating remotely from Al-Baha – one of the distinctive tourism destinations announced as part of the recently launched Saudi Summer campaign.
Participating in the meeting was the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, HE Zurab Pololikashvili, who was joined by ministers and officials from Member States, representatives of Arab and international organisations, and regional director for the Middle East, UNWTO, Basma Al-Mayman.
The meeting, which was rescheduled from April this year, discussed ways for the Middle East and global tourism sectors to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Al-Khateeb commented: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia considers the UNWTO as one our primary stakeholders and we are working with it on a number of projects, including a study on women’s contribution to the tourism sector in the Middle East, which is of significant importance as we progress towards achieving our development goals.
“We are aiming to host more meetings and conferences with the UNWTO in the Kingdom so we can continue these important efforts whilst highlighting the Kingdom’s amazing tourism sites and destinations once it is safe to do so,” Al-Khateeb added.
“We are developing tangible action to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, support the tourism sector and integrate it within economic recovery programmes whilst promoting the highest standards of safety for travellers. To this end, we will work with our partners in the UNWTO and WTTC, as well as through our work as G20 President, to continue these multilateral efforts towards a global tourism recovery plan,” he concluded.