RIYADH: The last day of any event is full of sad moments. It’s all about leaving memories behind after getting used to seeing the same group of people every day for a considerable amount of time.
This year’s Future Investment Initiative, however, ended up with hope. This hope was clear in all the discussions, panel sessions, and media interviews over the three days of the event that ended on Thursday.
Everyone is planning or talking about recovery and how to make a strong comeback. The business community is coming back stronger and traveling to seek new opportunities again after almost two years.
“The fact that we are here in the FII is evidence that we are getting back to normal,” Edmund Bartlett, Jamaican minister of tourism, told Arab News on the sideline of the event.
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Princess Haifa Al-Saud, assistant minister for executive affairs & strategy at the Saudi Ministry of Tourism, said: “As a sector, tourism is too big to fail but we need to focus on the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of tourism as it lacks resilience.”
Fawaz Farooqui, managing director of the Cruise Saudi company, told the FII that a million cruise ship passengers will visit Saudi Arabia by 2028. He also claimed 50,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created by the industry by 2035.
The FII this year was testimony to the fact that collective efforts of humanity can overcome any virus attack. It was also centered around sustainability and the environment.