The 2023 World Tourism Day (WTD) titled "tourism and green investment" kicked off in Riyadh, with the participation of more than 500 government officials, and tourist experts and leaders from 120 countries.
The participants discuss the most outstanding tourist topics to enhance growth and sustainability in this field.
In his inaugural speech, Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmad Al-Khatib said Riyadh's hosting of WTD is important to the Kingdom as the tourist sector is one of the most essential sectors in the world.
This sector provides subsistence for hundreds of millions and makes up 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) of some countries, he noted.
Tourism hit three percent of the GDP in 1970, and it has recovered after the coronavirus to reach 10 percent, he elaborated.
He went to say that the number of tourists has risen from 118 million in early 1970s to about 1.5 billion in 2019, an increase of 700 percent.
Al-Khatib stressed the importance of cooperation amongst countries all over the world to achieve growth in the sector in a balanced and fair way.
He highlighted work to get new tourist horizons and enable poor countries to meet their aspirations through investment. The minister pointed out that the Saudi government opened door for international investment in this sector and helping the private sector to get global capital to build facilities for visitors. And this has been achieved in the Kingdom, he said. (end)

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