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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
AL-BAHA — The 46th meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for the Middle East concluded here on Monday. Ahmed Bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb, minister of tourism, participated in the meeting from Al-Baha, one of the distinctive tourism destinations announced as part of the “Saudi Summer” program launched in the Kingdom last week.
The meeting was held virtually with the participation of Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the World Tourism Organization, ministers and officials from member states, representatives of Arab and International organizations, and the UNWTO Regional Director for the Middle East, Basma Al-Mayman.
The meeting, rescheduled from April this year, was convened in order to discuss efforts of how the Middle East and global tourism sector can overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the meeting, Al-Khateeb said: “Saudi Arabia considers the UNWTO as one of our primary stakeholders, and we are working with it on a number of projects, including a study on women’s contribution to the tourism sector in the Middle East, which is of significant importance as we progress toward achieving our development goals.
We are aiming to host more meetings and conferences with the UNWTO in the Kingdom so we can continue these important efforts while highlighting the Kingdom’s amazing tourism sites and destinations once it is safe to do so.
"We are developing tangible action to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, support the tourism sector and integrate it within economic recovery programs while promoting the highest standards of safety for travellers. To this end, we will work with our partners in the UNWTO and WTTC, as well as through our work as G20 President, to continue these multilateral efforts toward a global tourism recovery plan.”
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