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Kingdom, Spain join forces to redesign tourism post-COVID including through UNWTO
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 28 - 10 - 2021

Saudi Arabia and Spain signed a cooperation agreement to redraw the tourism map to develop the sector in view of the two countries' experience in the tourism sector.
This came during a meeting held Wednesday between the Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Kingdom of Spain, Maria Reyes Maroto on the sidelines of Future Investment Initiative here to join forces between the two countries to redraw the tourism map after the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to cooperating with the World Tourism Organization.
On the occasion, Al Khateeb delivered a speech in which he said, "We have had an excellent working meeting today on the margins of the FII, where we have identified a number of fields in which Spain and Saudi Arabia can play a leading role to revitalize the tourism sector after the pandemic, for it to become one of the pillars of global economic recovery.
"The tourism sector needs strong leadership and coordination to bring governments and private sector partners together to work more collaboratively. We need to build a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive tourism sector that provides prosperity for the long term."
He also said that Saudi Arabia has and continues to play a leading role in providing international coordination for the sector, starting with its presidency of the G20 in 2020.
The Kingdom has built on this with a number of important initiatives including a $100 million grant to the World Bank for the Tourism Community Initiative, the Best Villages program, in partnership with the UNWTO, and now the Sustainable Tourism Global Center.
Saudi Arabia has been working with international partners to build a program that aims to redesign the future of tourism and address the underlying challenges facing the industry.
It is worth mentioning that both countries agree to deepen their cooperation on three key issues to develop tourism: first, promoting sustainability, which will be essential to guarantee its future viability as a growth sector and its contribution to a decarbonized global economy, and reinforcing social inclusiveness within host communities.
Second, collaborating in digital transformation, building smart and connected destinations, optimizing the flow and exchange of information and insights to accelerate the transformation of the tourism sector.
Third, Spain and Saudi Arabia will work together to promote and develop training human resources to strengthen the capabilities of the people working in this sector, from vocational training to post graduate studies and specialization.
Nowadays, tourism is considered as a vital global sector, so today's agreement between the Kingdom and Spain will ensure that two of the sector's leaders will work even more closely together for the benefit of all those who depend on it. — SPA


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