The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has chaired the 118th Session of the Executive Council of the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), held in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic.
The Kingdom was elected as chair of the 34-member Executive Council of the UNWTO for 2023 during the 117th session of the council. It is the first Gulf country to hold such a position.
The Minister of Tourism and chairman of the current council, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, explained that the Kingdom, through its strategic partnership with the UNWTO, is working on coordinating international efforts to strengthen the tourism sector based on sustainability and equal opportunity for all member states.
Al-Khateeb also noted that the significance of the council lies in unifying visions and efforts of the organization and member states to achieve positive outcomes for the global tourism sector, citing its contributions to the global economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili explained the Kingdom's role in the recovery of the tourism sector, underlying the organization's keenness on working with member states to improve the industry according to the strategies put forward.
The council discussed several topics related to the tourism sector which represent the priorities of the member states, including creating a working group to “redesign the tourism of the future,” which was proposed by the Kingdom during the 24th meeting in 2021.
The council also discussed World Tourism Day, which the Kingdom hosts in September this year, and the preparations for the 25th meeting of the organization's General Assembly.
Source: Saudi Press Agency