Participants at the Future of Global Hospitality Summit said that Saudi Arabia, which currently chairs the G20, was leading great efforts with the member states to revive the tourism and travel sector and save it from the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ahmed Al-Khatib, the Saudi Minister of Tourism, explained that the tourism, hospitality and travel sector contributes to 10 percent of the gross world product, which is equivalent to $9 trillion.
During a conference organized by the Ministry of Tourism and the General Secretariat of the G20, Al-Khatib said that tourism represented the most important source of income in the world.
“Tourism has been affected by the pandemic since the beginning of this year by about 100 million jobs,” he warned.
More than 6,000 leaders, experts and institutions around the world are participating in the conference, which hosted more than 100 speakers from the global hospitality industry. The conference also features a digital platform that supports opportunities to exchange ideas through side meetings, in addition to a virtual exhibition, video networks and advanced technologies for bilateral and live group discussions.
The Saudi minister revealed that about 100 million jobs have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic since the beginning of 2020. He emphasized the need for a high-level coordination between the G20 and major companies operating in the sector in order to develop solutions to restore these jobs through smooth travel and appropriate health measures that would ensure the recovery of tourism.
Al-Khatib also said that the meeting of the G20 ministers with officials from the tourism sector that took place on Oct. 7 was very fruitful.
“We listened to them and tried to build bridges to help them. Protecting jobs is one of our top priorities, in addition to preparing for a quick recovery as well, in aviation and hotels, as everyone is waiting for the resumption of travel, provided that this pandemic is quickly behind us,” he stated.