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Saudi Arabia to support the tourism sector through an international fund

Saudi Arabia to support the tourism sector through an international fund

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia called on donor countries to participate in financing the first international fund dedicated to supporting the tourism sector.

This came in the speech of the Saudi Minister of Tourism, Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khatib, at the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, indicating that the Corona pandemic has strengthened the importance of the tourism sector as the main driver in advancing the wheel of growth and recovery.

“The Kingdom’s government pledge to provide $100 million to establish the Tourism Support Fund, in cooperation with the World Bank, contributes to supporting communities affected by the pandemic in helping them to overcome the devastating impact of the Corona pandemic and other global crises,” Al-Khatib said, according to what was reported by the “SPA”.

The minister indicated that the entire international community bears the task of accelerating the recovery and achieving the necessary flexibility.

He stressed that international cooperation is indispensable to achieving the desired economic growth, calling on donor countries and the private sector to contribute to building the trust fund, noting the efforts made by the Kingdom for the tourism sector, which is one of the pillars of the global economy.

The Minister of Tourism discussed the successful pioneering experience achieved by the Kingdom in terms of accelerating the tourism sector and attracting tourists from inside and outside the Kingdom, in addition to the Kingdom’s initiatives and its role in promoting the future of sustainable tourism.

In 2021, the Kingdom contributed to the launch of the World Center for Sustainable Tourism, a multilateral alliance that aims to reduce the tourism sector’s contribution to carbon emissions around the world, as the sector accounts for 8% of these emissions.

This coalition, which includes several countries, stakeholders from the public sector, international organizations, academia, and financing institutions, will lead, accelerate and track the transformation of the tourism sector to net-zero emissions, as well as support international efforts to protect nature and communities. The Center has appointed eight international experts in the field of Sustainable Tourism as its representatives.

In May 2021, the Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding with the World Bank and the World Tourism Organization to activate the “Tourist Community Initiative”, which aims to promote sustainable tourism, inclusive growth, provide job opportunities, and preserve the natural heritage in developing countries.

The Kingdom is working to enhance its tourism environment and contribute to achieving the objectives of the national tourism development strategy, which aims by 2030 to receive 100 million visits annually from inside and outside the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia aims to increase the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product to 10% while providing one million new job opportunities.

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