UNWTO to honor Prince Sultan for innovative tourism initiatives in Saudi Arabia

SCTH President Prince Sultan bin Salman attends the press conference in Chengdu on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 13 September 2017
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UNWTO to honor Prince Sultan for innovative tourism initiatives in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) Prince Sultan bin Salman will lead the Saudi delegation at the 106th session of the Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in China.
The UNWTO will honor Prince Sultan for his exemplary support of global tourism and innovative initiatives to promote tourism in the Kingdom.
The 106th session of the Executive Council comes within the functions of the 22nd session of the General Assembly of the UNWTO, scheduled to open in Chengdu, the Peoples Republic of China, today.
More than 1,100 ministers and officials, representing 132 countries, will attend the event to discuss issues related to tourism in the world.
In press remarks, Prince Sultan appreciated the role and efforts of the UNWTO in removing obstacles facing tourism in the world and boosting cooperation and joint work to allow tourism to achieve successive leaps.
Evidence of the success of the UNWTO is that it has managed to bring all officials together in one place to exchange views and ideas to make tourism more active, he said.
He affirmed that the UNWTO has reached the highest level of professionalism in its works, projects and plans, especially during the past eight years.
For his part, the secretary-general of the UNWTO, Talib Al-Rifai, said the meeting represents a unique opportunity to bring sector officials together on a joint objective which aims to make tourism a real driver to sustainable development and determine steps of the UNWTO for 2018-2019.
He said the general assembly will give them a chance in making key decisions working as a guide to make a balanced contribution in the future of our planet and its population. “Therefore, we have to invest this opportunity to allow tourism sector to play its roles in development, economy and coexistence between peoples and countries,” he said.
The 22nd session of the UNWTO General Assembly is the second to be hosted by China and the fourth in the Asia and Pacific region. In this context, Al-Rifai said China is not only the fourth biggest tourism receiving country, but it stands as a model country that gives priority to tourism as an engine for the development wheel.
On the other hand, the UNWTO General Assembly will discuss a number of topics, notably tourism and objectives of sustainable development, smart tourism, the current tourism trends, and conversion of the global code of tourism ethics into an international agreement.


Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

Updated 14 min 55 sec ago
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Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

  • The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia
  • The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease

GENEVA: Outbreaks of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) killed 23 people in Saudi Arabia between Jan. 21 and May 31 this year, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
The deaths were among 75 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during the period, the WHO said, and take the total number of deaths from the disease to 790 since it was first diagnosed in humans in 2012.
The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia.
One outbreak in February hit a private hospital in Hafer Albatin region, where the patient passed the disease to three health workers. There was another cluster of six cases in a hospital in Riyadh in the same month, although no health care workers were infected.
Two other clusters affected households in Jeddah and Najran.
MERS-CoV is a member of a virus family ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It appears to have emerged in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012, although it has been traced in camels, the source of the infection, back to at least 1983.
The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease.
But it kills one in three sufferers, and hospital workers are at risk unless extreme caution is taken to identify MERS sufferers early and to protect health care workers from infection via airborne droplets such as from coughs and sneezes.
Susceptible people should avoid contact with suspected cases and with camels, and anyone who has contact with animals should wash their hands before and afterwards, the WHO said. Everyone should avoid drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating undercooked meat.
Three MERS cases have been reported this year outside Saudi Arabia. Oman and the United Arab Emirates each reported a case, while in Malaysia a man fell ill after drinking unpasteurised camel milk during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.