RIYADH: The tourism ministers of G20 countries met on Wednesday to discuss ways of reviving the tourism sector, which has been severely affected by the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
They highlighted the crucial role of tourism as a means of achieving sustainable socioeconomic development, and talked about the challenges the sector is facing as a result of the pandemic.
The ministers pledged to work together to “support those most impacted by the crisis within the sector, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and developing economies that rely on travel and tourism, especially in Africa and small island states.”
They vowed to help the ailing sector rebound and prosper by strengthening international cooperation, rebuilding trust and confidence in tourism, and sharing knowledge and good practices between countries.
The participants agreed that support for policies that promote sustainable authentic experiences, rural development and community empowerment not only benefits local communities but also promotes a welcoming experience for tourists.
The meeting was chaired by Saudi Arabia, which holds the presidency of the G20 this year. The ministers welcomed the progress that has been made in tourism initiatives during the Kingdom’s tenure, “including global commitments made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the progression of inclusive community development through tourism, and the advancement of safe travel.”
The travel and tourism sector contributed 10.3 percent of global gross domestic product in 2019 and provided 330 million jobs. It suffered severe setbacks, however, after many countries banned international travel or imposed other restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the threats it poses.