Under the theme "Tourism and Green Investments," this historic event will bring together global tourism leaders, ministers, industry experts, and government officials to explore the critical role of investment in promoting economic sustainability and social prosperity in the tourism sector.
Arabia Saudita is set to become the global epicenter of tourism as it hosts the 2023 World Tourism Day (WTD) by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Riyadh from September 27 to 28, 2023. Under the theme "Tourism and Green Investments," this historic event will bring together global tourism leaders, ministers, industry experts, and government officials to explore the critical role of investment in promoting economic sustainability and social prosperity in the tourism sector.
Arabia Saudita, with the fastest post-pandemic sectoral recovery among G20 nations, seizes the opportunity of WTD 2023 to emphasize its commitment to placing tourism and sustainability at the core of its ambitious Vision 2030, a comprehensive plan to diversify its economy and transform its tourism industry.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the global tourism sector is projected to contribute $9.5 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2023. This forecast aligns with UNWTO's prediction that tourism is on track to recover between 80% and 95% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023, surpassing those levels in 2024.
Just days before the event, Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, emphasized that "travelers want to travel more sustainably. Travel and tourism can grow and protect the planet. Let's come together to shape a sustainable future for travel and tourism."
Gloria Guevara Manzo, Chief Advisor to the Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, highlighted the growth of tourism and the importance of continuing on the path of sustainability in the sector.
Tourism, as one of the world's largest economic drivers, not only creates business opportunities and jobs but also plays a crucial role in promoting mutual understanding and connecting diverse cultures.
Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, underscores the historic opportunity to steer the tourism sector towards sustainability, job creation, and economic resilience. He also emphasizes how tourism fosters mutual understanding and contributes to a more harmonious world by preserving cultural heritage and environmental conservation.
Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of UNWTO, emphasizes the need to invest in building a more sustainable tourism sector and the importance of education and innovation as the foundation for long-term growth and transformation.
Saudi Arabia, which opened its doors to global tourism in 2019, takes pride in hosting this pivotal event. This celebration reflects its commitment to connecting Saudis with the world, building bridges between cultures, and offering international investment opportunities.
WTD 2023 in Riyadh, considered the most significant gathering of global tourism leaders in the 43-year history of WTD, will feature a series of sessions, panel discussions, and workshops led by industry experts and government leaders. Additionally, it will culminate with a gala dinner in Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Riyadh, to celebrate World Tourism Day and its global significance.
This event marks a significant milestone in the global tourism calendar and underscores Saudi Arabia's commitment to the development of the global tourism sector. Furthermore, it follows the Kingdom's selection as the President of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the year 2023. Riyadh has evolved into a renowned hub for business events, and this World Tourism Day promises to be a source of valuable insights and discussions about the role of tourism in uniting cultures and promoting mutual understanding worldwide.