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Saudi Arabia Hosts | Global Tourism Recovery Summit

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia hosted global travel industry leaders across public and private sectors at the Tourism Recovery Summit in Riyadh to discuss common solutions and tangible actions as the sector enters a new era.

The summit gathered more than 60 speakers at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh and attracted a global virtual audience of thousands.

The speaker line-up included 16 tourism ministers from around the globe as well as private sector leaders from the aviation, hospitality, and cruise sectors as well as industry bodies including, Edmund Bartlett CD, MP, Minister of Tourism of Jamaica, Harry Theoharis, Minister of Tourism of Greece, Dr. Jill Tiefenthaler, CEO, National Geographic Society, Willie Walsh, Director General, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Sébastien Bazin. Group CEO and Chairman of the Board, Accor,  Ernesto Ottone Ramírez, Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO,   Amr AlMadani, CEO, Royal Commission for AlUla,   Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO, NEOM,  John Pagano, CEO, Red Sea Development Project &Amaala and Jerry Inzerillo, CEO, Diriyah Gate Development Authority.

Through panel discussions and bilateral meetings, participants exchanged experiences, ideas, and opportunities to ensure the future of tourism is more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive.

In his opening address to the Summit, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, called for greater collaboration between the private and public sectors as tourism enters a new era. He said recovery would be based on three main principles: sustainability, inclusivity, and collaboration.

In his comments to attendees, United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili announced the launch of the organization’s Best Tourism Villages initiative, which will identify villages taking innovative and transformative approaches to tourism in rural areas. He also inaugurated the UNWTO’s first Regional Office, in Riyadh, which will harness collaboration to grow and strengthen the region’s tourism industry.

Princess Haifa Mohamed Bint Al Saud, Assistant Minister of Tourism, expressed optimism for the future of the industry, emphasizing the need to satisfy people’s desire to travel while building an ecosystem that attracts investment and enables a greater diversity of people and geographic areas to benefit in the prosperity tourism brings.

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