UNWTO will open a Middle East office in Riyadh
The opening is to support the recovery and growth of tourism in the region
A regional office for UNWTO will be established in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The move was approved by UNWTO executive council members and announced at the 112th session of the UNWTO Executive Council in Tbilisi, Georgia.
It serve as a hub for the UNWTO to 13 countries in the Middle East and will focus on building long-term growth for the sector and human capital development in the travel and tourism sector in the region.
The office will also include a dedicated Statistics Center whose objective is to become the leading authority on tourism statistics for the region.
HE Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Saudi Arabia’s minister for tourism, said: “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.
"We hope this will provide a model for future collaborations around the world. Tourism not only boosts economies, it also builds bridges between cultures and enriches lives. It is one of the only sectors that is able to drive such tangible transformative change, on so many levels.
“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, but tourism is at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s vision for the future."