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  • More than 500 government officials, industry leaders and experts from 120 countries are expected to visit. Riyadh for the event, making this year’s celebration the largest and most significant World Tourism Day in its 43-year history.
  • Speakers include His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia; Zourab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization; Her Excellency Rosa Ana Morillo Rodriguez, Secretary of State, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Spain; Patricia de Lille, Minister of Tourism of South Africa; Julia SimpsonCEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council and Matthew Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso
  • The number of high-level participants demonstrates the importance of World Tourism Day 2023, organized in Riyadhto chart the future of growth in the global tourism sector.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, September 23, 2023 /CNW/ — Details of the speaker line-up have been revealed for this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD), which will be held in Riyadh from 27th – 28th September. With more than 500 government representatives, industry leaders and experts from 120 countries set to visit Riyadh For the event, the level of participation demonstrates the importance of JMT 2023 in charting the future of growth in the global tourism sector.

The breadth of high-profile speakers showcases the collective momentum within the industry to celebrate the sector’s successes while exploring solutions to its most pressing challenges. Speakers announced today include:

  • His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia
  • Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization
  • His Excellency Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia
  • Her Highness Princess Haifa Bint Mohammed Al Saud, Deputy Minister of Tourism
  • Her Excellency Patricia de Lille, Minister of Tourism of South Africa
  • Her Excellency Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia
  • His Excellency Mehmet Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Türkiye
  • Her Excellency Rosa Ana Morillo Rodriguez, Secretary of State, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Spain
  • Julia SimpsonCEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council
  • Thought HoSecretary General of the World Tourism Economy Forum
  • Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA)
  • Pierfrancesco VagoCEO of MSC Cruises
  • Greg WebbCEO of Travelport
  • Matthew Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso
  • Ritesh AgarwalCEO of OYO

António Guterres, Secretary General of the UNsaid: “Tourism is a powerful engine for progress and mutual understanding. But for it to produce all its benefits, this force must be protected and maintained. On this World Tourism Day, we recognize the vital need for green investments to build a tourism sector that lives up to people and the planet. So let’s all do more to exploit the full potential of sustainable tourism. Because investing in sustainable tourism means investing in a better future for all.”

JMT 2023 will be held under the theme “Tourism and Green Investment” with the aim of fostering global collaboration to examine investment opportunities aimed at strengthening the resilience of the tourism industry, steering the sector towards a future focused on investment and sustainable. The two-day event will see tourism leaders participate in keynote speeches and panel discussions focused on three central UNWTO themes: people, planet and prosperity. Participants will explore the power of tourism and the sector’s role in bridging cultures, preserving the environment and promoting a more harmonious and interconnected world.

The first day will explore the UNWTO theme “Tourism and Green Investment” through panels ranging from the power of tourism in building bridges; invest in human capabilities; the potential of less frequented tourist destinations; the challenges and solutions to achieve a sustainable future; to bridge the innovation gap and boost entrepreneurship. On the evening of the first day, a gala dinner will be organized at the Saudi Arabia UNESCO World Heritage Site, Diriyah, to celebrate WYD 2023.

The Tourism Leaders Forum will be held on the second day under the theme “Tourism for the people, prosperity and intercultural dialogue”. A public sector session will examine the sustainable future of the industry, while a private sector session will explore end-to-end seamless travel. A WTD 2024 handover session will also be organized between Saudi Arabia And Georgiain front from Georgia organizing the event next year.

The scale of the event organized at Riyadh shows the importance given by the Saudi government to the development of the global tourism sector. The Kingdom was elected President of the Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for 2023 and hosted the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Riyadh Last year.

According to the recent UNWTO barometer report, the Middle East reported the best results in January-July 2023, with arrivals 20% above pre-pandemic levels. The region continues to be the only one surpassing 2019 levels so far, with Saudi Arabia experiencing extraordinary double-digit growth (+58%).

About the Ministry of Tourism
Saudi Arabia The Ministry of Tourism was founded in 2020, following the opening of Saudi Arabia to international tourists in 2019. The ministry spearheads the Kingdom’s vision to bring Saudi tourism to the forefront. Its efforts align with the Kingdom’s ambitious goals to create 1 million jobs for its citizens, enable accelerated and sustainable growth with forward-looking policies, investments and talent development guided by data, to receive 100 million tourist visits by 2030 and to amplify the sector’s contribution to GDP from 3% to 10%. In doing so, the Ministry of Tourism issues licenses and classifications for tourism activities and creates and approves tourist visa regulations.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for promoting tourism as a vehicle for equal, inclusive and sustainable development. In collaboration with its Member States, international organizations and the private sector, UNWTO promotes safe and seamless travel for all. UNWTO also strives to make tourism the foundation of international trust and cooperation and a central pillar of growth and opportunity. As part of the broader United Nations system, UNWTO is at the forefront of global efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including through its ability to create decent jobs , to promote equality and to preserve natural and cultural heritage.

World Tourism Day Celebrations | UNWTO

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SOURCE Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia

For more information: World Tourism Day Press Office Team: Christie Rawlings, (email protected)

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