UNWTO forecasts

MENA to receive 195m international tourists by 2030

A Monitor Report 16 Mar, 2017  |    -      +
Dhaka : United Nations World Tourism Organi-sation (UNWTO) and ATM Ministerial Forum at the Arabian Travel Market, taking place on April 24 in the Dubai World Trade Centre of United Arab Emirates will discuss how tourism can play a role in the future of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Forum, an official event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 returns to ATM this year, with a particular focus on the contribution of tourism to sustainable economic growth and economic diversification of the MENA region. Over 20 Ministers and industry leaders will gather at the Ministerial Forum.

According to World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) MENA are expected to welcome 195 million international tourists by 2030, growing at a rate higher than the world average. 25 to 50 million new jobs will be required in the region over the next decade.

"Tourism is an increasingly important sector to support the economic diversification of the region. In addition to generating foreign exchange earnings and creating jobs, tourism promotes trade and investment and significantly contributes to the development of other sectors of the economy_ such as construction, manufacture, retail and financial services." said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said, "The Middle East has experienced huge changes since the UNWTO Ministers Forum was last held at ATM back in 2015. This year will reflect the pace and level of that development, uniting more than 20 ministers with industry leaders in the MENA region to consider methods of capitalising on tourism growth and building a sustainable ecosystem for the sector to unlock its potential within each country's National Agenda. Specific areas of focus will include GDP growth and economic diversification, innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity, job creation, human capital and infrastructure development, investment and export promotion."

In his message on the occasion of the Year, United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said, "Tourism has become a pillar of economies, a passport to prosperity, and a transformative force for improving millions of lives. The world can and must harness the power of tourism as we strive to carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

The Forum will start 3.30 pm and will follow the 42nd meeting of the UNWTO Commi-ssion for the Middle East which is being held at 10am on the same day.

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