Saudi Arabia to establish global academy for tourism training

Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb
Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb

Saudi Gazette report

Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb revealed that the Council of Ministers has given the Ministry of Tourism the go ahead to open a regional office of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Riyadh as well as to establish a global academy for tourism training.

“The weekly session of the Cabinet, held on Tuesday, has instructed the Ministry of Tourism to communicate with UNWTO, in coordination with the concerned agencies, to take the necessary legal measures to open the organization’s regional office in Riyadh, and to complete the necessary arrangements to establish a global academy specialized in training and developing the capabilities of those working in the tourism sector,” he said.

Al-Khateeb stressed that this reflects the Saudi leadership’s interest in the tourism sector in the Kingdom. “Working through an international cooperation system facilitates a professional environment that upgrades the quality of services provided to tourists and contribute to providing the necessary information that enriches work in the tourism sector,” he said.

He pointed out that the ministry, in cooperation with UNWTO, would work to lay the foundations and standards that enable the proposed academy to be among the best tourism academies in the world.

Al-Khateeb said the Kingdom, during its presidency of G20, sought to address the concerns of all stakeholders in the region with regard to the future of tourism. The Kingdom has put in place initiatives for the recovery of the global tourism sector, which was the worst hit sector due to the coronavirus pandemic, and these initiatives include creating a platform for the exchange of experiences in this field worldwide, he noted.

The minister also drew attention to the Kingdom’s local initiative to revive the domestic tourism sector with the launching of the Saudi Summer season, which covered eight destinations within the Kingdom. There has been tremendous response for this from the part of both citizens and expatriates, he said while noting that the UNWTO secretary general praised this during his visit to the Kingdom last week during which he toured a number of Saudi summer destinations.

Al-Khateeb hoped that the Kingdom, together with UNWTO, would launch a set of initiatives to develop the tourism sector in the region. It is noteworthy that the organization is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.