• Friday, October 6, 2023 at 6:39 PM
    Last Update : Friday, October 6, 2023 at 6:39 PM

Gulf Tourism Ministers Mull Unified Strategy

(AWP) - Ministers of tourism of the Gulf states, during their recent meeting in the Sultanate of Oman, discussed procedures of enforcing a unified Gulf strategy approved last year in the Saudi province of al-Ula.

In a speech during a meeting hosted by the Oman Across Ages Museum in the Omani town of Manah, Jasem Mohamed al-Budaiwi, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said tourism is one of the most important promising socio-economic sectors for the GCC states’ march towards diversifying the resources of income and achieving sustainable development.

“The total number of visitors of the GCC states reached 39.8 million in 2022, with a growth rate of 136% compared to the previous year. Spending of tourists of GCC countries hit $85.9 billion at a growth rate of 101% compared to 2021. Intra-tourism of GCC international tourists reached 29% at a growth rate of nearly 100% compared to 2021,” explained Budaiwi.

For his part, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Saudi Minister of Tourism, underlined the importance of the Gulf region for global tourism, stressing the need to implement the Gulf tourism strategy items.

“The Gulf is a very important region for global tourism as it boasts diverse culture, atmosphere, history, geography and other highly-competitive privileges. During the previous al-Ula meeting, we launched the Gulf tourism strategy. Today, we have reviewed its initiatives and made sure they were being implemented,” he added.

“The region is advancing. With joint work and permanent coordination, we will get our normal share of the global traveling market,” he noted.

The Sultanate of Oman, which presided over the meeting, called for enhancing cooperation and integration among GCC states to push forward tourist development to the good of national economies.

“There is agreement over a number of tracks that have been discussed and unanimously endorsed. It is clear that there is commitment and a desire to push this cooperation forward in the field of tourism,” Said Salem bin Mohammed Al Mahrooqi, Omani Minister of Heritage and Tourism.

The meeting handled a host of topics, including works of the joint Gulf team for the implementation of the Gulf tourism strategy, the general framework of the Tourism Statistics Platform in the GCC Countries and the unified Gulf tourism visa.

The meeting also recommended the endorsement of the 2023-2030 Gulf Tourism Strategy initiatives.