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Tourism Ministry highlights investment opportunities in AHIC
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 09 - 2021

The Saudi Ministry of Tourism has participated in the Arabian & African Hospitality Investment Conference (AHIC), which was held in Jumeirah, Dubai on Sept. 20-22, 2021.
On the sidelines of the conference's activities, the ministry highlighted the efforts being made by the Kingdom in developing investment opportunities in the tourism sector, which gave investors clear perceptions of the Kingdom's strategy to become among the top 5 tourist destinations around the world, providing stable growth opportunities and preserving the Kingdom's natural environment.
The Kingdom seeks to achieve three major tourism goals: to employ one million people in tourism over the next 10 years; for the tourism sector to contribute 10% of GDP by 2030; and for Saudi Arabia to become a top five destination globally, with 100 million visits by 2030, said Mahmoud Abdulhadi, Deputy Minister, Investment Attraction, Ministry of Tourism.
Abdulhadi was speaking during an interview live on stage at AHIC with Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench and founder of AHIC.
AHIC has welcomed 800 delegates from 54 countries to the live in-person event, ready to Rise Together and navigate the way forward for the hospitality and tourism sectors in Middle East and Africa.
Apart from investment potential in Saudi Arabia, the AHIC debate addressed hospitality products in Africa, human capital and company culture, new technologies, experiential luxury, diversity in the workforce, and how to catalyze the movement for change within global hospitality.
Abdulhadi said: "Saudi Arabia is one of the world's last tourism frontiers and home to the world's largest tourism projects. As the ministry works to meet our target of becoming a top five global tourist destination, our strategy involves building a sustainable tourism market that provides stable growth opportunities whilst protecting the Kingdom's natural environment.
"It is the perfect time to invest in Saudi tourism and, by investing now, our partners can directly contribute to the evolution of our nascent tourism sector."
Worsley commented: "From investors to attendees alike, there's been considerable interest in the Saudi market here at AHIC.
"Inspired by the key themes of 'innovation, sustainability and the future', we were thrilled to have the Saudi Ministry of Tourism among our program to showcase the work that is being done across the Kingdom to build its offering, attract investment and ensure a robust recovery of the sector post pandemic."
Abdulhadi also commented on the Ministry of Tourism's intention for Saudi Arabia to become a world leader when it comes to sustainability.
This message was echoed in live-on-stage interviews with Andrew McEvoy, head of tourism sector, NEOM, who revealed the foundations of developing a future destination with sustainability at the core of investment, and John Pagano, chief executive officer, The Red Sea Development Company and Amaala, who discussed regenerative tourism and the partnerships that make it a reality on day two of AHIC.
On the occasion, Chairman and CEO of Bench Jonathan Worsley said, "Both the investors and attendees at the conference showed their great interest in the Saudi tourist market, and based on our interest in the three main topics 'innovation, sustainability, and the future', the participation of the Saudi Ministry of Tourism in our program was a source of happiness for us.
"It was also of note to learn about the efforts of the Kingdom to develop its offers in the field of tourism, attract investment, and ensure the sector's recovery after the coronavirus pandemic," he added. — SPA

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