Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez has joined his global counterparts in Saudi Arabia for a pivotal two-day conference amid celebrations for World Tourism Day, observed every year on September 27.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will welcome representatives from more than 100 member states, including more than 50 tourism ministers, at the event in Riyadh.
Speaking to Observer from the Middle Eastern country, Fernandez emphasised the significance of the forum for the twin island nation’s economic mainstay.
“We will be discussing issues of women in tourism, entrepreneurship…I think it will be very important. The plan is to come out of it with a plan on how all the leaders in tourism can work together to share ideas and best practices,” he said.
Meanwhile, meetings will also take place to explore ways Saudi Arabia can continue assisting Antigua and Barbuda. The oil-rich nation has been seeking to strengthen its links in the region in recent times.
“We have a number of meetings planned on the side-lines, particularly relating to investment within the tourism industry in Antigua and Barbuda.
“Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy country, and it is important because the whole aspect of world tourism is going through a lot of changes…It is important for us to participate in such a forum so we can understand what is facing tourism and its future,” Fernandez said.
The theme for this year’s World Tourism Day is “tourism and green investments”.
UNWTO has identified investments as a crucial priority for tourism’s recovery, growth, and development.
Governments, multilateral financial institutions, development partners, and private sector investors are being urged to unite around a new tourism investment strategy.
UNWTO’s member states will mark the observance through various special events and programmes worldwide.
The conversations will focus on the importance of investment for people, the planet, and prosperity, emphasising investing in education and skills, sustainable infrastructure, green transformation, and innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.