Growing tourism to be a key topic of G20 Riyadh summit

SCTH Chairman Ahmad Al-Khateeb chairs the World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) ministerial summit at the World Travel Market event in London. (SPA)
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Updated 01 January 2020

Growing tourism to be a key topic of G20 Riyadh summit

  • Saudi Arabia to attract annual 100m visitors, says SCTH chief

RIYADH: Tourism will be one of the key topics for discussion when Saudi Arabia hosts next year’s G20 summit in Riyadh, the Kingdom’s sector chief has revealed.

The country aims to attract 100 million visitors a year while creating 1 million new jobs by 2030, ministers at a world tourism conference heard.

Ahmad Al-Khateeb, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), told a gathering of top travel officials in London that the global tourism sector had grown by 3.9 percent last year, with a staggering 319 million people working in the industry.

Chairing the World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) ministerial summit at the World Travel Market event being staged in the British capital, Al-Khateeb said the 2020 G20 gathering would focus on ways to sustain world growth in the sector.

NUMBER 319 MILLION

The global tourism sector had grown by 3.9 percent last year, with a staggering 319 million people working in the industry.

“We have ambitious targets and promising plans to invest in the tourism industry and we seek to reach 100 million visits per year to the Kingdom, and generate 1 million new jobs by 2030,” he said.

Al-Khateeb explained the methodology adopted by the Kingdom to develop tourism in a way that ensured the sustainability and protection of communities and rural areas.

He said most countries were aware of the magnitude of the environmental impact of tourism on their urban cities, and this had led them to look for alternative destinations.

The SCTH chief pointed out that more than 80 percent of the Kingdom’s population (34 million people) lived in urban areas and as a result the country was working on protecting and developing rural communities, socially and economically, by supporting a number of technical and creative solutions.

Al-Khateeb added that rural areas of Saudi Arabia were rich with tourist attractions and that the Kingdom boasted 10,000 historical and archaeological sites, many on the UNESCO World Heritage list such as AlUla and Al-Ahsa.


Muslim World League chief lays foundation stone for Islamic museum in Jakarta

Updated 29 February 2020

Muslim World League chief lays foundation stone for Islamic museum in Jakarta

JAKARTA: A museum dedicated to Prophet Muhammad and the history of Islamic civilization will soon rise in the Indonesian capital.

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), laid the foundation stone for the Jakarta branch of the Museum of the Life of the Prophet and Islamic Civilization on Feb. 28, 2020, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

An MWL post on Twitter said the museum will feature lush gardens in one of the most visited area in the city.

Al-Issa was quoted by SPA as saying that Jakarta would become the first branch of the Madinah international museum, hosting a variety of events, debates, training sessions, conferences, forums and seminars.

Following the groundbreaking ceremony, Al-Issa and his delegation met with the Saudi Ambassador to Indonesia, Essam bin Abed Al-Thaqafi.

The meeting was also attended by the Kingdom’s deputy envoy to the southeast Asian country, and Saudi embassy staff.