Global action vital to save world’s tourism industry: Saudi minister

Ahmed Al-Khatib. (Reuters)
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Updated 20 March 2020

Global action vital to save world’s tourism industry: Saudi minister

  • We will be able to implement policies and measures that will help all of us to overcome the COVID-19 outbreak
  • He called for a strong international response and multilateral actions

RIYADH: Joint international action to support the world’s crippled travel industry through the coronavirus pandemic was now a global priority, Saudi Arabia’s tourism minister said on Friday.

Ahmed Al-Khatib was speaking after taking part in a remote meeting called by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with the participation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and tourism chiefs from around the globe.

The Saudi minister pointed out the importance of the UNWTO, private sector, and international community working together to develop concrete and decisive solutions aimed at minimizing the financial impact of the deadly virus outbreak on declining tourism revenues.

Meeting delegates discussed the social and economic implications of the health crisis on the world.

Al-Khatib said: “We are confident that if appropriate actions are taken and working closely together, we will be able to implement policies and measures that will help all of us to overcome the COVID-19 outbreak and its effects, protect human lives, and the global economy.

“We, in the Kingdom, as a tourist destination with huge potential for growth, trust the flexibility of our tourism sector in the medium and long term. But this does not mean there is no need for more effort and immediate support for the sector.

“We are consulting with our major partners around the world, including both industry partners, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the (UN) World Tourism Organization, in order to ensure our continuation to develop appropriate measures to support the tourism sector in the Kingdom,” he added.

The minister noted that the WTTC had estimated a 25 percent slump in the global number of tourists this year, putting up to 50 million jobs at risk.

He called for a strong international response and multilateral actions to alleviate the impact of the pandemic on the tourism industry.
 


KSA highlights support for Bosnia massacre victims

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan al Saud delivers a speech during the opening of the UN Human Rights Council's main annual session on February 24, 2020 in Geneva. (AFP)
Updated 47 min 53 sec ago

KSA highlights support for Bosnia massacre victims

  • The minister added that King Salman continued to support and stand by Bosnia and Herzegovina, further confirming the unique and friendly relations between the two countries

GENEVA: Saudi Arabia participated in the 25th anniversary memorial of the Srebrenica genocide that took place in July 1995.
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah delivered the Kingdom’s speech via video conference.
He conveyed the greetings of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sefik Dzaferovic, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and dignitaries who were participating in the event.
The minister affirmed that Saudi Arabia stood side by side with its brothers, the families of the victims of the massacre.
He said: “Our participation on behalf of Saudi Arabia, its leaders, government, and people, is a humanitarian and moral obligation that the Saudi leadership stands by every year.”
The minister added that King Salman continued to support and stand by Bosnia and Herzegovina, further confirming the unique and friendly relations between the two countries.