UK and Spain join forces to rethink post-COVID tourism, including through UNWTO

RIYAD – Saudi Arabia and Spain have signed a cooperation agreement to redraw the tourism map in order to develop the sector in view of the experience of the two countries in the tourism sector.

This happened during a meeting held on Wednesday between Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Kingdom of Spain, Maria Reyes Maroto on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative here to unite the forces between the two countries to redraw the tourist map after the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to cooperating with the World Tourism Organization.

On this occasion, Al Khateeb delivered a speech in which he said: “Today we had an excellent working meeting on the sidelines of the FII, where we identified a number of areas in which Spain and the Saudi Arabia can play a leading role in revitalizing the tourism sector after the pandemic, so that it becomes one of the pillars of the global economic recovery.

“The tourism sector needs strong leadership and coordination to get governments and private sector partners to work more collaboratively. We need to build a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive tourism sector that ensures long-term prosperity. “

He also said that Saudi Arabia has played and continues to play a leading role in the international coordination of the sector, starting with its G20 presidency in 2020.

The Kingdom has built on this with a number of important initiatives, including a $ 100 million grant to the World Bank for the Community Tourism Initiative, the Best Villages program, in partnership with UNWTO, and now the Sustainable Tourism Global Center.

Saudi Arabia has worked with international partners to develop an agenda to rethink the future of tourism and address the underlying challenges facing the industry.

It should be mentioned that the two countries agree to deepen their cooperation on three key issues to develop tourism: first, promote sustainability, which will be essential to ensure its future viability as a growth sector and its contribution to a carbon-free global economy, and strengthen inclusiveness within host communities.

Second, collaborate in digital transformation, create smart and connected destinations, optimize the flow and exchange of information and knowledge to accelerate the transformation of the tourism sector.

Third, Spain and Saudi Arabia will work together to promote and develop training human resources to build the capacity of people working in this sector, from vocational training to higher education and specialization.

Nowadays, tourism is seen as a vital global sector, so today’s agreement between the Kingdom and Spain will ensure that two of the industry’s leaders will work even more closely together for the benefit of all who depend on them. . – SPA