Tourism ministers of the “Twenty” call for the promotion of innovation and digitization skills
The closing statement urges the adoption of the “AlUla” framework for comprehensive community development
Thursday – 21 Safar 1442 AH – 08 October 2020 AD Issue No. [
Saudi Minister of Tourism during the presidency of the ministerial meeting of the tourism sector under the umbrella of the Group of Twenty yesterday (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Jeddah: Aisha Jafari
At a time when the World Tourism Organization estimated that the travel and tourism sector would lose nearly 120 million jobs and a loss of about $ 1.2 trillion due to the stagnation in global transportation by the end of 2020, the Ministerial Meeting of Tourism Ministers of the G20 yesterday called for the need to enhance innovation and develop digital skills as mechanisms to push Tourism sector to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
The ministers stressed the continuation of work, through cooperation at the international level and at the level of the public and private sectors, to support the revival of the sector from the repercussions of the epidemic and to support those affected by the crisis from micro, small and medium enterprises and developing economies that depend on travel and tourism, especially in Africa and small islands.
A statement issued yesterday said, “The epidemic has resulted in some challenges and opportunities in crisis management for the travel and tourism sector.”
According to the meeting held yesterday, the contributions of the travel and tourism sector constitute the equivalent of 10.3 percent of global GDP, and 330 million jobs (direct and indirect) were created in 2019, while tourism constitutes 28 percent of global services exports.
The ministers added, “We recognize the importance of good communications during crises in the sector’s response to the epidemic and recovering from it.” Tourism, which will enable workers and MSMEs to successfully engage in advanced and digital economies.
“We support all efforts exerted to promote tourism innovation and support initiatives that develop emerging companies and innovation centers that seek to meet and overcome the challenges resulting from the epidemic,” the final statement said.
According to the outcomes of the ministerial meeting, the ministers called for the importance of adopting accurate tools to measure the sustainability of tourism to help better understand the social, economic and environmental contribution of the sector, with a focus on evidence-based policies and procedures as essential to advancing and monitoring progress, while encouraging the adoption of standardized international statistical systems and measuring Sustainable and inclusive tourism and its consistent use using tools such as the Sustainable Tourism Framework, and we stress the need for disaggregated data in line with the sustainable development agenda.
In the closing statement, the tourism ministers said, “We support the use of the Al-Ula framework for comprehensive community development through tourism, as this framework can serve as a guide for countries to follow to ensure the contribution of tourism to achieving sustainable and comprehensive development by identifying and supporting communities with high tourism potentials. Identifying potential areas of work and major partners supporting local development Progress towards evidence-based policies measuring sustainable tourism in line with international standards; Finally, a review of good practices and experiences.
The ministers stressed the importance of facilitating safe, smooth and sustainable travel to and from destinations as part of the process of revitalizing the sector and in the long term, stressing the need for strong policy coordination between the ministries of tourism, transport and health and all stakeholders with regard to regulatory policies and procedures.
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