Dhaka: Saudi Arabia is bringing tourism players together to respond to the impact of the global pandemic and the vital importance of a combined global approach.
The Saudi Arabian Government has launched the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), a multi-country, multi-stakeholder coalition that will accelerate the tourism sector's transition to net-zero emissions, as well as drive action to protect nature and support communities.
Launched by HRH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the Sustainable Tourism Global Center will support travelers, governments, and the private sector, to ensure that tourism enables growth and creates jobs, while playing its part to achieve the climate goals laid out in the Paris Agreement, including contributing to keeping the world to under 1.5-degrees Celsius warming.
The Global Center will be the platform to bring all the knowledge and expertise; it aims to be the "north star" for the tourism sector as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and transitions toward a sustainable future. Globally, tourism supports more than 330 million livelihoods – and pre-pandemic, it was responsible for creating one in four new jobs globally.
Details of this coalition and the services it will provide will be formally announced during COP26.
Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, said, "The tourism sector contributes to 8 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions – and this is expected to grow if we don't act now. Tourism is also a highly fragmented sector. 80 per cent of businesses in tourism are small and medium-sized enterprises that rely on guidance and support from sector leadership. The sector must be part of the solution.”
"Saudi Arabia, following the vision and leadership of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, is answering this vital call by working with partners – that prioritize tourism, SMEs and climate – to create a multi-country, multi-stakeholder coalition, that will lead, accelerate, and track the tourism industry's transition to net zero emissions.”
"By working together and delivering a strong joint platform, the tourism sector will have the support it needs. The STGC will facilitate growth while making tourism better for the climate, nature, and communities."
Gloria Guevara, Chief Special Advisor to the Minister of Tourism, said, "For years and years, multiple players across the tourism sector have been working on different initiatives to accelerate the race to zero – but we have been working in silos. The impact of the global pandemic on the tourism sector highlighted the vital importance of multi-country, multi-stakeholder collaboration. And now, Saudi Arabia is stepping up to bring stakeholders together to make tourism part of the solution to climate change."
Gloria was the former CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
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