Global tourism ministers, travel and tourism industry executives, and experts will emphasize the potential of tourism and explore options for collaboration to encourage the sector’s growth, putting people, the planet, and prosperity front and center of proceedings.
WTD 2023 will examine the role of investment in people and the planet to secure livelihoods and foster mutual understanding, as well as opportunities to extend the reach of the industry’s economic and social impact to more people around the world, ensuring prosperity for all.
According to the WTTC, the worldwide tourism sector will contribute $9.5 trillion to GDP by 2023.
This is consistent with the UNWTO‘s prediction that tourism will reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels this year, and is largely projected to exceed 2019 levels in 2024.
As one of the world’s largest economic drivers, the industry provides a plethora of commercial and job opportunities while also playing an important role in bridging cultures, connecting people, and promoting mutual understanding.
Three themes will guide the event’s proceedings, reflecting the sector’s potential as a significant driver of change: mutual understanding, economic sustainability, and social prosperity.
“We have a historic opportunity to chart a new course for the global tourism sector, centered on sustainable development, job creation, and economic resilience. Tourism – as a catalyst for change – fosters mutual understanding, builds bridges, and safeguards cultural heritage and environmental conservation, contributing to a more harmonious world.
“World Tourism Day 2023 is an important platform for the world to celebrate the sector’s successes and explore solutions to its challenges. Saudi Arabia is honored to host this esteemed occasion and we look forward to welcoming tourism leaders from the public and private sectors to Riyadh.”
“This World Tourism Day, we focus on the vital need to invest in building a more sustainable sector for people, planet, and prosperity. The day also makes clear why UNWTO underscores the need for investment in education and for greater innovation as the foundations for long-term growth and transformation. This year’s official celebration in Saudi Arabia reflects how tourism is being embraced to diversify economies and generate opportunities for all.“
Saudi Arabia demonstrates its commitment as a dedicated tourism sector convenor by hosting this event four years after it first opened to global tourists in 2019. The event aims to showcase Saudi Arabia’s progress in connecting Saudis to the world, building bridges between cultures, nurturing hospitality talent, and creating investment opportunities for the international community.
WTD 2023 will feature a range of fascinating events, panel discussions, and workshops hosted by renowned sector experts and government leaders, making it the most significant gathering of global tourism professionals in the 43-year history of World Tourism Day. Participants will also attend a gala dinner in Diriyah, Riyadh’s UNESCO World Heritage site, to commemorate World Tourism Day and its global significance.
The magnitude of the event in Riyadh demonstrates the emphasis the Saudi Arabian government places on the development of the global tourism sector, and it follows the Kingdom’s election as Chair of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for 2023.
The UNWTO WTD 2023 event in Riyadh on September 27 and 28 showcases the capital’s growth as a major business event hub and promises to be a major milestone in the global tourism calendar, offering valuable insights and inspiring discussions on the role of tourism in bridging cultures and fostering mutual understanding.
The Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia was founded in 2020, following the opening of Saudi Arabia to international tourists in 2019.
The Ministry spearheads the Kingdom’s Vision to bring Saudi tourism to the forefront. Its endeavors align with the Kingdom’s ambitious goals, aiming to create 1 million jobs for its citizens, enable accelerated and sustainable growth with future-focused policies, investments, and talent development guided by data, receive 100 million tourism visits by 2030, and amplify the sector’s GDP contribution from 3% to 10%. In doing so, the Ministry of Tourism issues licenses and classifications for tourism activities and creates and approves tourist visa regulations.