Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia discusses travel and tourism sector response and recovery to COVID-19 with global private sector industry leaders

  • Virtual meeting to discuss how Travel and Tourism sector must take front seat in driving global economy
  • 75 million tourism jobs at risk and spending losses of up to $2.1 trillion
  • Discussions to help inform global action to aid the sector in resilience and recovery

London, UK: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) this week hosted a virtual meeting with His Excellency, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism, and leaders from across the tourism industry. During the meeting, WTTC shared data, revealing the potential global economic impact of COVID-19 on Travel & Tourism. 

WTTC Members’ high-profile CEOs discussed the impact of COVID-19 and the decisive action needed to protect over 75 million livelihoods that have been put at risk across the sector. 

The roundtable was chaired by WTTC President and CEO, Gloria Guevara, and H.E. Al-Khateeb, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism and Chairperson of this year’s G20 Tourism Track.  

As one of the world’s most labor-intensive sectors, supporting 330 million jobs worldwide and one in four new jobs created on the planet in 2019, tourism must be at the heart of global response and recovery efforts.  

Latest research from WTTC shows the COVID-19 pandemic could result in a loss of up to $2.1 trillion in Travel & Tourism GDP to the world economy.

H.E. Al-Khateeb stressed his commitment to working proactively with WTTC in coordinating with the private sector and shaping global crisis response measures to ensure Travel & Tourism is at the forefront of recovery efforts. 

H.E. Ahmed Al Khateeb, said: “The challenge ahead lies in two phases, first in weathering the impact of COVID-19 on people’s lives and businesses, and second in rebuilding from it.

“As we work together to outline solutions for the private sector, we look forward to building a collective response for all types of businesses involved – from global conglomerates to the many micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that help make tourism a thriving and innovative industry.

“Guaranteeing the livelihoods of businesses and workers in the travel and tourism sector will ensure a healthy recovery. Together we will pave the way for a strong and sustainable ecosystem for the future.” 

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “This extraordinary meeting gives WTTC and many of our high-profile members, a unique opportunity to discuss with His Excellency, the unprecedented strains our sector is currently under, the immediate actions needed now and how to ensure a swift recovery once the COVID-19 pandemic has been combatted.

“We are truly grateful to His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb and thank him for the time he gave WTTC and our industry leader members, to discuss the many urgent measures needed to save the private sector, and the millions of people who depend upon it. 

“His Excellency continues to show enormous support for our industry, and as G20 Tourism Chair, we thank him for taking the time to talk, and listen to the Travel & Tourism private sector, and for driving the conversation with G20 ministers.”

 

Download the press release here.