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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - AL-AHSA — The 25th session of executive office of Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism and the 22nd session of Arab Tourism Council concluded Monday in Al-Ahsa Governorate with deliberations on promoting tourism and the security challenges it posed. The two-day meet was chaired by Ahmad Bin Aqil Al-Khatib, chairman of Board of Directors of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH). Arab tourism ministers and a number of Arab and international organizations were in attendance. “These meetings emphasize the importance of joint Arab efforts in the field of tourism,” Al-Khatib said. According to Al-Khatib, the Kingdom’s plan is to become one among the 5 top tourist destinations worldwide by attracting about 100 million visitors by 2030. He also called on the tourism ministers to participate in the Accessible Tourism Forum that will be held in Riyadh in 2020, to review the Kingdom's experience in cities humanization, the sport path project in Riyadh, and the quality of life projects that contribute to accessible tourism. He added that KSA has recently launched the "Tourism National Monitoring Platform" to monitor the performance of accommodation facilities and tourism traffic. In this regard, Bahrain proposed the activation of tourism information and statistics tool to support Arab tourism strategy. The meeting discussed tourism security challenges and the required mechanisms to overcome them, and reviewed the updated draft of Arab tourism strategy document. It also shed the light on utilizing the tourism information and statistics to support the Arab tourism strategy, reviewed the updated standards of the selection process of the Arab tourism capital and the resolutions of the 2nd joint meeting, which was held in Tunisia, October 2019. During the meeting, the members of executive office of Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism were elected for 2020 and 2021, which included: KSA, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq, Egypt and Tunisia. Cairo was chosen to host the 26th session of executive office in 2020 and Manama was selected to be the Arab Tourism Capital for 2020. The meeting provided a favorable opportunity to introduce Al-Ahsa region, as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2019, and its historical sites registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List, amid media presence from all participating Arab countries.
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