The 22nd edition of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Global Summit, currently held in Riyadh, emphasized the need to draw a road map for a sustainable and innovative future with the participation of the public and private sectors.
The council also revealed its intention to invest more than $10 billion in Saudi Arabia’s attractive tourism environment.
Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib stressed the need to unite the efforts of the international community to find solutions to the challenges facing the sector, pointing to the progress made by his country in order to develop the tourism industry and achieve high levels of flexibility and sustainability.
During a joint press conference held on Monday with Julia Simpson, CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Al-Khatib said: “We believe in the importance of partnerships… Therefore, we hope that the hosting of the Travel and Tourism Summit this year would contribute to unifying international efforts… through the influential contribution of the participants in this conference.”
The Saudi minister added that the priority focus on people and the sustainability of the planet’s resources will shape a new and promising future for the sector.
In this context, Al-Khatib noted that the Kingdom was now considered one of the best growing tourist destinations in the world, thanks to the directives of its leadership and the resources allocated to the sector.
Simpson, for her part, revealed that the members of the Council were planning, during the next five years, to launch huge investments worth more than $10.5 billion in Saudi Arabia.
“This event brings together the most prominent and important leaders and officials in the travel and tourism sector worldwide, with the aim of discussing ways to ensure the future of this sector in the long term, which is very important to the global economy, job creation, and the development of livelihoods in various parts of the world,” she told the press conference.
The summit, which continues until Thursday, is considered one of the most important travel and tourism events at the global level.
Speakers taking to the stage include former UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the UK’s second woman Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher, and the first to hold two of the Great Offices of State.
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his speech to the World Summit, pointed to great efforts made during his tenure to support the sustainable development, emphasizing the active role of nations in paving the way for the signing the Paris Climate Agreement and mobilizing the efforts of world leaders to protect the environment and maintain climate balance.
Golden Globe Award-winning actor and film director Edward Norton, an advocate for renewable energy and a strong supporter of the African Wildlife Foundation, Norton will take part in a unique Q&A session.
Held under the theme, “Travel for a Better Future”, the event will focus on the value of the sector, not only to the global economy, but to the planet and communities around the world.
Within the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, Saudi authorities seek to create one million new job opportunities in the tourism sector, and to attract 100 million visitors to the Kingdom by 2030.
Saudi Arabia’s ambitions come in line with the ongoing global efforts to enhance the primary and vital role of the tourism sector in creating job opportunities for the future.