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UNWTO chooses Riyadh as its headquarters in the Middle East

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has chosen Riyadh to open its first-ever regional office outside Madrid, dedicated to the Middle East.

The Regional Office was inaugurated by the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, Zurab Pololikashvili, and the Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib, during the tourism sector recovery summit held in Riyadh.

The mission of the Regional Office will be to coordinate policies and initiatives across 13 countries in the Middle East, promote tourism products and sustainable development, collect important statistics for the sector and exchange information, in addition to stimulating investment in tourism assets and constituents, and working to define policies related to health aspects.

The World Tourism Organization also launched a program to celebrate the best tourist villages and announced the establishment of the first tourism academy in Riyadh dedicated to the Middle East.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia announced the allocation of $ 100 million to establish the International Fund for Inclusive Tourism, which is the first fund to support global tourism growth, in cooperation with the World Bank.

On Tuesday, the Saudi Council of Ministers approved, in its session the authorization of the Saudi Minister of Tourism or his representative to negotiate with the United Nations World Tourism Organization regarding a draft cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Tourism in the Kingdom and the World Tourism Organization to develop human capabilities through e-learning, and signing He must, and then upload the final signed copy, to complete the legal procedures.

The Minister of Tourism – or his representative – was also authorized to negotiate with the Omani and French sides regarding two draft memoranda of understanding in the field of tourism between the Ministry of Tourism in the Kingdom and each of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism in the Sultanate of Oman and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in the Republic of France, and sign them, and then Upload the final two signed copies, to complete the legal procedures.

The Kingdom’s national strategy for tourism aims to raise the contribution of the tourism sector to the GDP to more than 10% by 2030 and to provide the largest number of job opportunities in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision.

A few days ago, the Saudi Ministry of Tourism announced the appointment of Gloria Guevara Manzo, who worked as a former president of the World Tourism and Travel Council and Minister of Tourism in Mexico, to the position of Senior Adviser, to contribute her extensive experience with the Ministry’s work team in moving to the next stage of the development of the tourism sector in the Kingdom within the framework of Vision 2030.

Guevara Manzo is considered one of the most influential women in the sector at the global level, as she held the position of Minister of Tourism and CEO of the Tourism Promotion Board in Mexico between 2010 and 2012, and succeeded in developing the tourism sector in the country and strengthening Mexico’s position as a leading global tourist destination.

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