The kingdom is one of the biggest investor in the sector, says the minister of tourism
Saudi Arabia has set aside more than $1 trillion to invest in the tourism sector over the next 10 years, said Ahmed Al Khateeb, the Minister of Tourism.
The kingdom is also one of the biggest investors in tourism, which was hit hard by the travel restrictions during the Covid
-19 pandemic, Mr Al Khateeb told a panel called the Future of Tourism at the fifth Future Investment Initiative on Tuesday.
"Tourism and travel were the most affected by the Covid
-19 pandemic among the sectors of the global economy, but we are on the path to a return to recovery, which requires international co-operation to enhance the recovery phase," he said.
The minister said that economies would not recover until tourism recovers. "And that means we must unite as a global sector to redesign tourism based on shared principles that define the future we want to see."
The kingdom believes that the recovery of the global economy depends on the recovery of the tourism sector, "so we need to work together to reactivate tourism according to effective principles of work, to achieve common goals", he said.
The tourism sector is expected to provide 260,000 jobs over the next three years while it aims to provide one million jobs by 2030, bringing the total to about 1.6 million jobs, Mr Al Khateeb said.
The minister urged countries to work together at large, including governments and the private sector, developed and developing nations, "to strengthen tourism organisations and increase representation in forums like the G20", which Saudi Arabia hosted last year, to deliver "the future for tourism that we all want and need".
Arnold Donald, the chief executive of Carnival Corporation and Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council, said the tourism industry “needs the collaboration between governments and the private sector" to harmonise and provide "frictionless travel", as well as equal distribution of vaccinations around the world.
“First, we have to accept the vaccinations at different places to make it frictionless travel, and secondly, vaccine
equity, so that means certain people can be vaccinated as was stated in the opening keynote,” he told the panel.