Saudi Arabia's tourism sector is growing at a steady pace and the kingdom's women are playing a vital role in its growth, said a minister, adding that out of the 925,000 individuals currently employed in the sector nearly 45% of them were women.

Saudi Vice Minister of Tourism Princess Haifa bint Mohammed bin Saud bin Khalid was giving her address at the 'Creating a Future-proof Workforce in the Tourism Industry and Beyond' dialogue session, held as part of the Human Capacity Initiative Conference in Riyadh.

She highlighted the kingdom's tireless efforts in empowering human capital and building capabilities and skills for the present and future.

The other key participants at the session included the CEO of the Metaverse Institute, Dr Christina Yan Zhang, founder and CEO of Extreme International; Alistair Gosling, founder of the Darent application; Hanin Al Subaie, and founder of Pangea Tourism and Adventure Company Mohammed Al Mulhim.

Princess Haifa pointed out that as per the World Economic Forum, 33% of global jobs will be transformed by technology, requiring reskilling and skill development.

"Technology will play an important role in the tourism sector, contributing to entering new spaces and adapting technology; investing in technology and adapting it to the field will help those working in tourism to develop and advance, including data science that contributes to decision-making," she noted.

During the session, the speakers emphasised that every city in the world is looking to develop its tourism sector and how it can use tools to attract broad segments of tourists.

They stressed that virtual reality overlaps with the real world and that investing in opportunities in the field for the future is key.

Experienced technicians are needed to make full use of these skills and to develop capabilities in dealing with modern technologies and adapting them to everything that serves human lives.

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