RIO DE JANEIRO Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said that Saudi Arabia is welcoming international investors to make investments in the Kingdom’s tourism sector. He also stressed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to achieve sustainable tourism with net-zero emissions.

“There are promising opportunities available in light of the great development that the tourism sector is witnessing in the Kingdom,” he said while attending a dialogue session within the Latin America FII PRIORITY Summit under the theme “Invest in Dignity” at the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The three-day summit, which will conclude on Thursday, is powered by Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute.

Al-Khateeb said that the Kingdom’s investments in the tourism sector are an essential pillar of Vision 2030. “We faced multiple challenges in our transition from an economy focused on oil to a diversified economy focused on tourism, and we succeeded in creating tremendous opportunities and it has a global resonance,” he said.

The minister pointed out that tourism is an important sector of the global economy. As per the expectations of a recent report issued by the World Travel and Tourism Council, the sector will constitute 11.4 percent of the global economy, contributing about $16 trillion by the year 2034.

Al-Khateeb said that the investment enablers program in the tourism sector, launched by the ministry, plays an important role in enhancing the Kingdom’s global tourism position by promoting sustainable investment, and contributes to facilitating the investors’ journey and reducing the obstacles they face. “The Kingdom’s doors are open for business, and we are keen to provide a favorable environment for international investors, and the investment facilities aim to make doing business in the Kingdom in the most efficient and the least expensive way.”

Al-Khateeb stressed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to achieving sustainable tourism through the Global Center for Sustainable Tourism, which promotes net-zero emissions and preserves the environment. “It is keen to establish close partnerships with countries around the world, and an example of this is the memorandum of understanding that the Kingdom signed with Brazil in 2022,” he said.

Al-Khateeb also praised the distinguished bilateral relations between the Kingdom and Brazil in diverse fields, indicating that the two countries are cooperating in a number of fields, most notably energy. He welcomed the strengthening of the partnership between the two countries in the tourism sector.

The minister said that Saudi Arabia is working to strengthen the infrastructure related to the establishment and expansion of airports, noting that the air connectivity program aims to increase air routes to Saudi Arabia. “The electronic visa regime has contributed to the Kingdom receiving more than 27 million foreign tourists during the last year,” he added.

The inaugural FII PRIORITY Rio de Janeiro Summit delves into how investing in the ecological transition, technology and innovation, and social inclusion that can build a new global order that prioritizes dignity for all. Ensuring that global citizens’ dignity is nurtured and protected stands as a pivotal global objective and is inextricably intertwined with sustainable development and economic prosperity.

More than 1,500 delegates and nearly 200 speakers attended 66 sessions of the summit. The opening ceremony included remarks by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, CEO of FII Institute Richard Attias; and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the Public Investment Fund and chairman of the Board of FII Institute. The FII Institute is a new global nonprofit foundation built on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles with an investment arm and one agenda: Impact on Humanity.

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