The Tourism Recovery Summit gathered more than 60 speakers at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh and attracted a global virtual audience of thousands. The speaker line-up included 16 tourism ministers from around the globe as well as private sector leaders from the aviation, hospitality and cruise sectors as well as industry bodies. Through panel discussions and bilateral meetings, participants exchanged experiences, ideas and opportunities to ensure the future of tourism is more sustainable, resilient and inclusive.
In his opening address to the Summit, H.E. Ahmed Al Khateeb, minister of tourism, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, called for greater collaboration between the private and public sectors as tourism enters a new era. He said recovery would be based on three main principles: sustainability, inclusivity and collaboration.
In his comments to attendees, Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general, United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO), announced the launch of the organisation’s Best Tourism Villages initiative, which will identify villages taking innovative and transformative approaches to tourism in rural areas. He also inaugurated the UNWTO’s first Regional Office, in Riyadh, which will harness collaboration to grow and strengthen the region’s tourism industry.
H.H. Haifa Mohamed Bint Al Saud, assistant minister tourism, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, expressed optimism for the future of the industry, emphasising the need to satisfy people’s desire to travel while building an ecosystem that attracts investment and enables a greater diversity of people and geographic areas to benefit in the prosperity tourism brings.