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  • Sheryll Mericido

UNWTO World Tourism Day in Riyadh to unite global tourism leaders

Riyadh, September 18, 2023, This year's UNWTO World Tourism Day (WTD), which will be observed from September 27 to 28, is expected to bring together leaders from the whole global tourism industry in Riyadh. Global ministers, business titans, and subject matter experts will showcase the value of tourism through a variety of noteworthy events and discuss opportunities for cooperation to support the sector's growth, putting people, the environment, and prosperity at the forefront of proceedings. WTD 2023 will examine the role of investments in people and the environment in securing livelihoods and promoting intercultural understanding under the theme of "Tourism and Green Investments," while also looking into ways to broaden the industry's economic and social impact to more people worldwide, ensuring prosperity for all. According to the WTTC, the global tourism industry is anticipated to contribute $9.5 trillion to the global economy in 2023. This is consistent with the UNWTO's prediction that tourism will continue to be well on track to reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels this year and is anticipated to surpass 2019 levels in 2024. In addition to providing a multitude of commercial and job opportunities, the sector also plays a crucial role in bridging cultural gaps, bringing people together, and improving intercultural understanding. It is one of the major economic drivers of the global economy. Three themes will guide the event's activities in light of the sector's potential to be a significant change agent: mutual understanding, economic sustainability, and social prosperity.

"We have a historic opportunity to chart a new course for the global tourism sector, focused on sustainable development, job creation, and economic resilience," said Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Saudi Arabia's minister of tourism. As a change catalyst, tourism promotes intercultural understanding, creates bridges, protects cultural heritage, and promotes environmental preservation, all of which contribute to a more peaceful world. Globe Tourism Day 2023 provides a crucial forum for the globe to acknowledge the sector's achievements and consider solutions to its problems. The hosting of this prestigious event is an honor for Saudi Arabia, and we look forward to welcoming public and private sector tourism executives to Riyadh.

"This World Tourism Day, we focus on the vital need to invest in building a more sustainable sector for people, planet, and prosperity," UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili added. The day also clarifies the UNWTO's emphasis on the necessity of education spending and increased innovation as the cornerstones of long-term development and transformation. The official celebration taking place this year in Saudi Arabia shows how the country is embracing tourism to diversify its economies and create opportunities for all.

Saudi Arabia shows its dedication as a committed tourism sector convenor by hosting this event four years after it first opened to international tourists in 2019. Saudi Arabia aims to showcase its progress in connecting Saudis with the world, building bridges between cultures, nurturing hospitality talent, and creating investment opportunities for the international community.

WTD 2023 will feature a number of interesting events, panel discussions, and workshops led by renowned industry professionals and government leaders, making it the most significant gathering of global tourism leaders in the 43-year history of World Tourism Day. Participants in the event will also attend a gala dinner to honor World Tourism Day and its significance around the world in Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Riyadh.

The size of the event being held in Riyadh, which follows the Kingdom's election to the Chair of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for 2023, demonstrates the significance the Saudi Arabian government attaches to the growth of the international tourist sector.

The UNWTO WTD 2023 will be held in Riyadh on September 27 and 28, and the event will highlight the city's development as a center for important business events. It also promises to be a significant milestone in the global tourism calendar, providing insightful analysis and igniting debate on how tourism can bridge cultures and promote understanding.


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