KSA to Chair Arab Tourism Ministers’ Emergency Meeting

The Arab League announced the holding of an emergency virtual session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism next Wednesday, under the chairmanship of Saudi Arabia, with the participation of Arab tourism ministers and relevant organizations and unions, to discuss mechanisms to confront challenges imposed by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The Director of the Department of Transport and Tourism at the Arab League, Dr. Dina Al-Zahir, said in a statement on Wednesday that the League has coordinated with the Saudi Ministry of Tourism, headed by Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khatib, to hold a virtual emergency session.

She added that according to the joint statement issued by the Arab Organization for Tourism, the Arab Civil Aviation Organization, and the Arab Air Transport Association, the tourism and travel sector represents 14.2 percent of the Arab countries’ GDP, where it contributes significantly to advancing the economy.

Zahir also noted that the joint statement estimated losses in tourism revenues at about $25 billion, airline companies’ revenues at around $8 billion, and tourism investments at $12.96 billion.

About one million permanent jobs and hundreds of thousands of seasonal jobs could be canceled in the tourism sector, according to the statement.

The Director of the Department of Transport and Tourism emphasized that the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism praised the efforts taken by Arab countries to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and to impose a number of measures and policies to accelerate recovery from the negative repercussions on the tourism sector.