Saudi Arabia sets the stage for UN tourism summit as travelers seek post-pandemic change
RIYADH: On June 7-8, Saudi Arabia will host the 116th Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organization in Jeddah, which will be attended by about 180 people from all over the world.
The two-day event will discuss all the necessary measures to implement the decisions and recommendations of the Sector Support Council.
The Executive Board meeting will take place on the first day of the event, followed by a thematic session on the second day entitled “The Future of Tourism – New Governance and Advocacy”.
Despite the severe blow from the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector has proved resilient, according to the UNWTO, with international tourist arrivals in some regions starting to match and even exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2022, according to UNWTO.
The Council will identify a potential drive to support the industry in the post-pandemic era by exploring the challenges and opportunities that govern global communications.
To address these issues, the themed session will consist of two separate tracks. The first is titled “Towards a New Tourism Governance: Lessons Learned for a Sustainable Future”, which will bring together ministers of tourism from around the world and senior representatives of international organizations.
The second session, Raising Tourism Awareness, will aim to increase political and public recognition of the sector through a discussion led by ministers and leading figures in online and broadcast media, marketing and business.
The thematic session opens the discussion to think big and rethink what the tourism sector needs to manage, finance and advocate for.
Proving its importance, UNWTO sees the tourism sector as one of the most important aspects of economic growth and an essential pillar of development.
A YouGov survey commissioned by the Saudi Ministry of Tourism found that Saudis are the most optimistic about the prospect of taking a vacation or business trip abroad in the next six months, reflecting the strong performance of the Saudi economy.
The Future of Tourism survey examined consumer attitudes and expectations in 11 countries around the world.
Nearly 14,000 people were surveyed in China, the US, the UK, Germany, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Korea, Spain and Sweden.
The study also found that travelers are calling for changes in tourism as the sector shows a recovery from the effects of the pandemic, with 44 percent of respondents wanting more harmonization of health protocols and the use of technology to facilitate travel.
According to the statement, 34 percent called for greater sector resilience, while 33 percent called for greater financial protection for travelers.
“The study on the future of tourism shows that the public wants us to learn from the pandemic and make changes that prioritize health, sustainability and better use of technology…