HOKKAIDO: Saudi Arabia has shared its vision for the future of tourism in an address by Ahmad Al-Khateeb, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, at a meeting of G20 tourism ministers in Japan.
Al-Khateeb shared Saudi Arabia’s strategy for developing its emerging tourism industry in line with Vision 2030 goals to build a thriving society and diversified economy. He also highlighted the Kingdom’s commitment to furthering tourism’s contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The meeting offered Saudi Arabia a chance to outline its plan to place tourism, one of the world’s fastest-growing economic sectors, among the main subjects of discussion when the Kingdom assumes the G20 presidency in 2020.
Al-Khateeb said: “Our strategy is to grow tourism from 3 percent to 10 percent of Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product, and to increase visitor numbers from 18 million a year to 100 million by 2030. This will, in turn, provide a total of 1.5 million jobs or 10 percent of the total workforce, predominantly among the young. We are committed to working with our partners across the tourism ecosystem to achieve these goals while protecting the economic, environmental and social well-being of the local communities affected by tourism.”