UAE affirms its commitment to support international efforts to encourage tourism & improve safety of travel experience
The UAE declared its commitment to supporting global efforts to support and improve the rehabilitation of the tourism sector and grow the safety of travel activities while adhering to global support on the COVID-19 response, through its support in a virtual G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting. The meeting took place under the chairmanship of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), with H.E. Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, serving the UAE.
During the meeting, the G20 representatives addressed ways to avail on growth opportunities in the post-pandemic phase and improve the sector’s improvement to comprehensive and sustainable improvement. Also, it examined the process made by the Tourism Group during KSA’s G20 Presidency, including the promises made in response to COVID-19. These incorporate an improved focus on the role of tourism in driving overall neighbourhood development and efforts to increase safety and support to improve the travellers’ experiences.
H.E. Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi said that in the condition of the unique events that the world is currently navigating, there are many changes and changes that have occurred not only within the tourism sector but over various aspects of daily lives and actions of billions of people everywhere in the world.
H.E. added: “We, in the UAE, think that there is an event created along with every incentive and that the exposure to shocks makes us more powerful and rebounding in the face of future crises. Therefore, we are confident that the tourism sector, although it is the most hit by the pandemic, will emerge stronger, faster and more resilient.”
Tourism is one of the main drivers of the overall development of society, as it contributes to diversifying and preserving natural and cultural resources, H.E continued. The tour and tourism sector accounted for up to 10.3 per cent of global GDP and 330 million jobs (direct and indirect) in 2019. He further highlighted the significance of the constant efforts in developing a more sustainable tourism sector and studying new opportunities to renew its activities while adhering to the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines at the same time.
Furthermore, H.E. added that support policies and incentives for tourism and travel companies and shuttles are still necessary to ensure their ability to maintain employment, along with continuing efforts to facilitate safe, smooth and sustainable travel experiences as these are major steps towards recovery. Besides, a seasoned technology and digital transformation play a significant role in accelerating recovery and enabling the continuity of the sector.
H.E also reviewed the UAE’s experience in dealing with the challenges imposed by the global crisis in the sector during the meeting. The UAE is one of the first nations in the region to launch incentives and facilities to support the sector, highlighting the country’s capacity to adjust fast thanks to an advanced technological and digital support. Today, these capabilities add to more reliable and seamless travel experiences in and out of the UAE, he added.
Al Falasi concluded by saying that the UAE is continuing its efforts to develop initiatives that drive tourism innovation and enable the participation of start-ups and innovation centres in finding quality solutions to defeat the challenges brought about by the pandemic.