Published on : Thursday, October 15, 2020
The UAE has confirmed its promise to help global travel and tourism at bad times when the virus infection is causing major chaos worldwide. While delivering a speech at the G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME), explained that COVID has offered tourism an opportunity to come back successfully.
Al Falasi emphasized that the virus has altered not only the tourism sector but the all most every industry, globally, changing daily lives and behaviors of billions.
To quote him, “We, in the UAE, believe that there is an opportunity generated along with every challenge and that the exposure to shocks makes us stronger and resilient in the face of future crises. Therefore, we are confident that the tourism sector, although it is the most affected by the pandemic, will emerge stronger, faster and more resilient.”
As oil-rich UAE capital constantly works towards financial diversity, the emirate of Dubai has been Middle East’s tourism hub for long. Last year, the modern metropolis witnessed an all-time high of 16.73 million overnight visitors, as per The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). Tourism spending in 2019 amassed to US$27.9 billion.
The travel and tourism sector accounted for up to 10.3 percent of global GDP and 330 million jobs last year on a global scale. With this in mind, the minister of state emphasized the significance of ongoing efforts behind sustainable tourism sector and one that is not so easily disrupted by any event whatsoever.
In addition, he added that support policies and incentives for tourism companies and airlines are still crucial to make sure their capability to maintain operations, along with constant initiations for smooth progress of safe, smooth and sustainable travel experiences as these are the important steps for recovery. Advanced technology and digital transformation play a major role in accelerating recovery and enabling the continuity of the sector.