LONDON: Riyadh has been chosen to host the 22nd Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTCC) next year.
The summit, the largest travel and tourism event in the world, will be hosted by the Kingdom at the end of next year following the upcoming edition in Manila from March 14 to 16.
Speaking during the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Julia Simpson, president and CEO of the WTTC, said: “Since the very beginning, when the pandemic brought international travel to an almost complete standstill, Saudi Arabia has shown its total commitment to our sector, ensuring it has remained at the forefront of the global agenda.”
She said the Kingdom “has been instrumental in leading the recovery of a sector which is critical to economies, jobs and livelihoods around the world.
After spending the week at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, in the company of His Excellency @AhmedAlKhateeb, Minister for Tourism for @Saudi_MT, we are delighted to announce #SaudiArabia as the host of our 22nd Global Summit.
— WTTC (@WTTC) October 28, 2021
“For that we are grateful and want to recognize their incredible efforts by bringing the global travel and tourism sector to the Kingdom next year.”
Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb welcomed the Kingdom’s selection as the host country for the summit’s next edition, adding that it is “a critical forum for the private sector and government to come together to redesign tourism for the future.”
He said this was “recognition of the Saudi leadership to help the global tourism sector recover, and more importantly, become more sustainable.”
WTTC research shows that the Middle East’s tourism sector is expected to grow by 27.1 percent this year, outpacing Europe and Latin America.
Research also confirms that if governments place the travel and tourism sector at the top of their priorities, the job opportunities provided by the sector will reach 6.6 million jobs in 2022, which would come close to the employment numbers in the sector before the pandemic hit.