Published on : Thursday, March 30, 2017
The UNWTO and ATM Ministerial Forum at the Arabian Travel Market set to take place on 24th April in the Dubai World Trade Center of the UAE will discuss how tourism can play a pivotal role in the future of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The forum is an official event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, returning to ATM this year and thus it focuses mainly on the contribution of tourism for sustainable economic growth and diversification of the MENA region. The forum will be attended by over 20 ministers and industry leaders.
The UNWTO says that the MENA region is expected to welcome 195 million international tourists by 2030, growing at a higher rate than the global average. There will be requirement of 25 to 30 million new jobs in the region over the next decade.
To quote the UNWTO Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai, “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.” To quote Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, “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.”
The forum will start at 3.30 p.m. and will commence with the 42nd meeting of the UNWTO Commission for the Middle East which will be held at 10 a.m. on the same day.