The United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced the launch of its first-ever regional office in the Middle East in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.
The Kingdom’s Tourism minister Ahmed al-Khateeb joined Saudi’s Deputy Minister of Tourism for Strategy and Investment Princess Haifa al-Saud, UNWTO’s secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili and other tourism ministers from the Middle East and beyond to open the office on Wednesday.
The new office will act as a hub for the UNWTO to coordinate with the region’s 13 member states on a variety of tourism projects, products and initiatives, according to a statement issued by the organization.
A proud week for #SaudiArabia!— وزارة السياحة (@Saudi_MT) May 28, 2021
It would not have been possible without our partners including @UNWTO - thank you! The opening of the new Regional Office will ensure a bright future for sustainable #tourism growth in the #MiddleEast and around the world pic.twitter.com/2BNc2A3mR5
“I believe that this Office will help the Middle East region recover its tourism sector as well as support the growth of rural tourism development worldwide,” said Pololikashvili.
The announcement comes as Saudi Arabia pledged to donate $100 million to the World Bank’s tourism fund, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.