Saudi Arabia has called upon global leaders to join its ‘new tourism and climate science assessment and measurement initiative’, and work collaboratively to help boost climate-resilient tourism.
“The tourism sector lost an estimated 62 million jobs globally during the global pandemic. COVID-19 highlighted the vulnerability of the sector – not only to pandemics but also, to the effects of extreme weather,” remarked Saudi Minister of Tourism Mr. Ahmed Al Khateeb at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Saudi Minister was delivering his keynote speech at the United Nations High-Level Debate, where global leaders gathered to discuss strategies, share best practices and experiences with a view toward putting sustainable and resilient tourism.
“Addressing climate change is at the heart of building a more resilient tourism industry, and there is no resilience without sustainability. We must work collaboratively to put sustainable and resilient tourism at the heart of inclusive recovery to ensure long-term sector resilience – for people and the planet. Only by doing these things together will we ensure a better and more resilient future for the millions of people around the world who rely on tourism. As one of the hardest-hit sectors, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored a critical need to ensure the future of the tourism sector and further made evident the need to protect the natural environment. The links between climate change and biodiversity loss highlight the need for an inclusive, and collaborative approach to developing a sustainable future for our sector.”
Further demonstrating the Kingdom’s leadership and commitment to the sector, Saudi Arabia has implemented key global initiatives to drive forward a sustainable future.
The Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), announced by HRH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman at COP 26 and during the Saudi Green Initiative in October 2021, is a multi-stakeholder action platform that will accelerate the tourism sector’s transition to net-zero emissions.
Further, the Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC), a new tourism and climate science assessment and measurement STGC initiative, will help to advance climate-resilient tourism and demonstrate the important role of the travel and tourism sector in contributing to improved human development.