Saudi tourism minister urges global coordination to tackle omicron

The minister called on the UN’s World Tourism Organization to address the latest strain. He also warned against the new variant’s impact on the Kingdom’s tourism sector

  
Tourists visit the cultural village of Rijal Almaa in the outskirts of Abha, Saudi Arabia July 17, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Tourists visit the cultural village of Rijal Almaa in the outskirts of Abha, Saudi Arabia July 17, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri
CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s tourism minister on Wednesday called for a coordinated international response to omicron, a new variant of the coronavirus.

“The lesson of the pandemic is that we need more international coordination and a greater recognition of the critical role of tourism in our economies,” Ahmed Al-Khateeb wrote on his official Twitter account.

The minister called on the UN’s World Tourism Organization to address the latest strain. He also warned against the new variant’s impact on the Kingdom’s tourism sector.

“Over the last few months, I have met with more than 100 tourism ministers (from around the world), and we share a consensus that the sector needs stronger support and international coordination,” he added.

Saudi Arabia confirmed its first case of omicron on Wednesday. A passenger coming from a North African country was tested positive for the new strain.

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