Saudi Arabia hosted the official opening of the 116th UNWTO Executive Council Meeting on June 7, a powerful vehicle that brings together global tourism leaders to shape the future of the sector.
As First Vice Chair of the UNWTO Executive Council, His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb discussed with global leaders how tourism must be a key part of a stronger and more sustainable world and called for greater collaboration to accelerate the sector’s recovery.
His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, Saudi Arabia, commented: “Tourism is a vital driver of growth, opportunity, and development and today, we are at global cross-roads. Our sector could create 58 million jobs in 2022, to reach more than 330 million, just 1 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. This can only be achieved with strong leadership, a clear vision, and resources.
Adopting the Meeting agenda, Member States welcomed the report on current trends in international tourism provided by UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili alongside UNWTO monitoring reports and tools developed since the outbreak of COVID-19. The two-day meeting, held in the historical city of Jeddah, was the biggest in-person, Executive Council meeting held since the pandemic began. Aimed at fostering strong coordination between member states to boost the recovery of global tourism, the meeting demonstrated the Executive Council’s determination to adopt a joined-up approach.
His Excellency was joined in Jeddah by Ministers and representatives from 35 Member States of the Executive Council, alongside global tourism leaders and private sector decision-makers.