Al-Khateeb: 54% of workers in tourism are women‏‏

Al-Khateeb: 54% of workers in tourism are women‏‏

Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said that 54 percent of workers in the tourism sector are women.

Al-Khateeb made his remarks at the fifth edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) here Tuesday.

“The salaries of female employees in the tourism sector are fair enough when compared to their male peers.”

He expressed optimism for the pandemic to end soon; and for the sector to receive a growth era soon, especially that nations now interconnected.

Al-Khateeb revealed that the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia targets 100 million visitors annually by 2030.

Huge wave of growth

“Saudi Arabia will witness a huge wave of growth and many initiatives will be in the near future in this sector; as it is considered one of the largest investment areas in the region.”

The minister stressed that the Kingdom is working to unify travel protocols around the world; especially that travel during the novel coronavirus pandemic become a nightmare for passengers. He highlighted the importance of developing unified travel laws for the world.

The tourism sector is one of the most affected sectors by the pandemic; as it has decreased by 80 percent, he said. The minister added that 60 million jobs lost in the tourism sector during 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Al-Khateeb noted that the crisis resulting from the pandemic forced countries to offer several long-term plans with the aim of recovering from the pandemic, noting that the tourism sector is among the most affected sectors in the world along with the travel and transport sector. The crisis has severely affected the sector that contributes to one out of ten jobs.

Cooperate with the private sector

The minister also called on countries to cooperate with the private sector that runs the tourism sector, noting that the role of the Ministry of Tourism is legislative and organizational and that there are more than seven billion people living on the planet, including 1.6 billion who managed to travel in 2020.

This is a record number, where the World Travel Organization estimates the number to exceed three billion, noting that 80% of the tourism industry are served by small- and medium-sized enterprises.

He also expressed Saudi Arabia’s aspiration to play an important role to create several initiatives, whether at the training or sustainability level, through launching a global center for sustainability.

During a session titled “Future of tourism-global perspectives”, in the FII, which saw the participation of Corporation Carnival CEO Arnold Donald along with the minister, the Carnival CEO said that government and the private sector have to cooperate to contribute to the recovery of the tourism and travel sector and face challenges that the sector endured during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harmony among all sectors

He noted that several jobs in the sector lost in 2020; stressing the importance of harmony among all sectors in all countries.

Al-Khateeb also highlighted the importance of fair distribution of vaccines among countries; enabling people to take it as easily as possible; noting that countries should prepare laws and health procedures to allow travel for all; such as the digital passport and putting public health as a top priority.

He said: “Governments should support their economies in a way that serves growth according to certain policies, and countries should work together to guarantee speeding up achievements related to sustainability and economic sustainability to ensure the resumption and sustainability of travel and tourism sector and caring for the climate change.”

Al-Khateeb pointed out that life is gradually coming back to normal; which allowed creating more than two million jobs after the pandemic.