One hundred and fifty travel & tourism leaders from international governments and businesses are meeting in Riyadh for the Redesigning Tourism Summit – Laying Foundations for Future Success.
The event will be held as part of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), an international platform bringing together over 3,000 global leaders, investors and innovators with the power to shape the future of global investment and humanity, PRNewswire reported.
Speaking at the FII, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib said: "Tourism is a vital sector – and it's growth is important to economies globally. More than 330 million people depend on tourism for their livelihoods. Prior to the pandemic, tourism accounted for 1-in-4 of all new jobs created across the world.
"The sector was hard-hit by Covid – with 62 million jobs lost. We must strengthen global co-ordination, to push tourism to the forefront of government agendas to create opportunities and sector resilience in the face of future challenges.
"Economies will not recover until tourism recovers. And that means we must unite to redesign tourism based on shared principles that define the future we want to see"
Led by Saudi Arabia and supported by the World Travel & Tourism Council, the Summit will endorse five 'Principles for Redesigning Tourism':
- Tourism is a vital sector that shapes societies and builds economies
- Countries will not recover until tourism recovers
- To thrive, tourism needs effective public-private co-ordination and collaboration
- Tourism must be part of the solution to climate change
- Everyone has a stake in the future of tourism
Arnold Donald, Chair of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), and President and CEO Carnival Corporation, welcomed the Principles for Redesigning Tourism on behalf of the private sector, saying: "It is of vital importance that as we reset the travel & tourism industry, we do it purposefully and collaboratively.
"I represent over 200 private sector CEOs – many of whom have called for greater collaboration with governments to ensure a focus on supporting business, enabling seamless travel, and strengthened support for key tourism destinations who need it most.
"I am pleased to support the Principles for Redesigning Tourism which will ultimately strengthen the tourism industry and its livelihoods."
WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson added: "Travel & tourism is a driving force behind the global economy. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic the Kingdom brought public and private sectors together, under their G20 Presidency. Today, they are bringing the leaders of travel & tourism to reignite the sector."
Chief Special Advisor to the Saudi Arabian Minister of Tourism Gloria Guevara said: "It's great to see the tourism sector at the forefront of this important conference with thousands of leaders from the financial world, including investors and decision makers.
"The biggest challenge our sector had last year was the lack of international co-ordination. The Principles recognise critical issues – prioritising international collaboration to ensure that tourism is better for people, nature, communities and our society."
Al-Khatib concluded: "Covid-19 has had a devastating and disproportionate impact on developing countries - many of which rely heavily on tourism's contribution to their economies and survival. Developed countries will be impacted if we don't create jobs for the most needed. Tourism contributes to this growth by providing education and opportunities, while reducing poverty.
"The Principles for Redesigning Tourism will help us shape our future, for existing and new destinations. For our present and our future."