Peace & Resilience: Saudi Tourism Minister At The United Nations NY


He is one of the few tourism leaders in the world who thinks outside the box and understands the realities of the current state of the world and the role tourism plays here.  He is the minister of Tourism for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, HE Ahmed Al-Khateeb.

Saudi Arabia constantly makes global headlines, showcasing the success the Kingdom has demonstrated in growing its travel and tourism industry responsibly but tremendously quickly.

Vision 2030 has become a magic target for the Saudi People in many ways, and tourism has a significant role here.

Exceeding expectations results from teamwork by a dream team in the Saudi Ministry of Tourism and the Saudi Tourism Authority under the guidance and leadership of Minister HE Al-Khateeb.

He appears as a caring, soft-spoken, and humbled man performing a tourism miracle for his country and the world. He only speaks to the media when he has something important to say.

HE Ahmed Al-Khateeb told his 93,000 Twitter followers today that he attended the United Nations Sustainability Week in New York.

One of the discussions at today’s UN event was the need for a global resilience fund for tourism, brought forward by Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

This event, however, has an even more critical feel where tourism resilience becomes global resilience, having to deal with a world in war and terror with the Middle East at the center of it.

Attended by H.E. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, it was a rare chance for tourism to play a role in the United Nations and the world to highlight its essential role in world peace.

Saudi Arabia is clearly in the spotlight for its central role in the ongoing Middle East crisis, and Minister Al-Khateeb is well aware of it.

Many tourism ministers, including the Secretary General of UN Tourism, have been criticized for ignoring their role and need to participate in discussions on world peace.

It’s refreshing to know that HE Ahmed Al-Khateeb touched on peace and tourism today without revealing details.

He said: “Today, I had the honor of meeting with HE Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of The UN. We emphasized the tourism sector’s role in achieving The UN’s sustainable development goals and its significant contribution to promoting peace among nations and peoples worldwide.”

I also had the pleasure of meeting with HE Dennis Francis, the president of the UN General Assembly, and HE Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary General of UN Tourism.

Clearly understanding the place tourism has in today’s complex geopolitical world, the Saudi Minister highlighted the importance of enhancing the representation of the travel and tourism sector in global forums and agendas.

Saudi Arabia is playing a leading role in the world in terms of sustainability and has contributed to many, so targets could be realized in many places.

During ITB in March 2024, the Omani Minister of Tourism, His Excellency Salim bin Mohammed Al Mahruqi, took a clear stand on the Palestinian situation, opening the floor for tourism to participate. This was a blunt first time for a tourism minister to take a clear stand.

Minister Al-Khateeb’s presence at the global UN level in New York today is a step up and a diplomatic positioning to cement global tourism’s role in peace and understanding between people.


About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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