The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has approved the setting up of a regional office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to support the growth of Middle East’s tourism sector as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said the UNWTO’s Executive Council members have approved the move to establish the office during the Executive Council session in Georgia. The office will cover 13 countries within the region and will serve as a platform to build long-term growth for the sector and human capital development in the travel and tourism sector in the region.
The office will also include a dedicated Statistics Center whose objective is to become the leading authority on tourism statistics for the region.
The announcement comes as a result of a long-standing partnership between the Ministry of Tourism and the UNWTO, who have joined efforts throughout the global health crisis to take a leading role in shaping recovery strategies for the travel and tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the economic slowdown.
This builds on the leadership of the Ministry of Tourism, which has already been working throughout Saudi’s G20 Presidency to establish a coordinated response to the pandemic, in partnership with the tourism industry.
Recently, Al-Khateeb revealed that the Council of Ministers has given the Ministry of Tourism the go ahead to open a regional office of UNWTO in Riyadh as well as to establish a global academy for tourism training.