Saudi Arabia to host first regional office of UNWTO

 The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has approved the setting up of a regional office in Riyadh to support the growth of the Middle East’s tourism sector; as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said the UNWTO’s Executive Council members have approved the move to establish the office during a session in Georgia. The office will cover 13 countries within the region; and will serve as a platform to build long-term growth in the travel and tourism sector of the Middle East.

“International cooperation and the role of the UNWTO are more important than ever. I am therefore very excited that Saudi Arabia will become home to the first ever UNWTO Regional Office; which aims to support growth at a national and regional level;” Al-Khateeb said.

“In Saudi Arabia, we are very aware of the transformative power of tourism on the economy and people. We may still be a young destination;” he added.

Recently, Al-Khateeb revealed that the Council of Ministers has given the Ministry of Tourism; the go ahead to open a regional office of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Riyadh; as well as to establish a global academy for tourism training.

It is noteworthy that that the UNWTO secretary general praised the Saudi Summer season during a recent visit to the Kingdom during; which he toured a number of Saudi summer destinations. Al-Khateeb hoped that the Kingdom, together with UNWTO, would launch a set of initiatives to develop the tourism sector in the region.