The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to host the 26th General Assembly of The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to be held in 2025.
The UNWTO announcement was made in the presence of Ahmed Al-Khatib, Minister of Tourism, at the 25th General Assembly, held in the city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
The General Assembly is the governing body of the UNWTO, established in 1975, and featuring representatives from 159 Member States, alongside private sector representatives and non-governmental organizations.
As a distinguished member of the General Assembly, Saudi Arabia plays a significant role on the international stage, and will now prepare for its next meeting in 2025.
Lauding the KSA leadership for its support, Al Khatib said: “Our hosting of the 26th General Assembly underscores our commitment to lead global tourism towards a brighter and more collaborative future. It also highlights our significant achievements in the Executive Council, which the Kingdom assumed leadership of in 2023.”
“The hosting of the 26th General Assembly in 2025 will be a momentous celebration, supported by various activities aimed at raising awareness of tourism’s role in promoting sustainable development and global peace. The event will provide an opportunity for the Kingdom to showcase its unparalleled tourism and cultural developments, and bolster international cooperation in this vital sector,” he added.
The kingdom’s selection as host, he stated, was a testament to its remarkable efforts in launching numerous regional and international initiatives, such as the Riyadh School of Tourism and Hospitality, and the upcoming Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), also in Riyadh.
The UNWTO even established its first regional center for the Middle East in the Kingdom. Upcoming mega-projects, such as NEOM, the Red Sea Project, the Qiddiya entertainment destination, and historical Diriyah, further solidify Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the growth of global tourism.
During the 25th General Assembly in Uzbekistan, the Kingdom hosted a dinner party, where Al Khatib welcomed ministers and dignitaries to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s selection as the location for the next edition.
The occasion served as an opportunity to introduce the rich and diverse experiences that Member States can look forward to during their visit in 2025.
Saudi Arabia’s dedication to global tourism extends beyond event hosting. It actively contributes to reshaping and advancing the global tourism landscape, exemplified by its collaborative work with Spain, suggesting that the UNWTO form a Redesigning Tourism for the Future Task Force in the wake of the Covid pandemic.
These progressive ideas underscore the Kingdom’s commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism, and its responsiveness to the needs of the international community.
The kingdom is extending its efforts to enrich the tourism sector, moving beyond economic benefits to foster cultural exchange, international understanding, and unity.
This vision aligns with the Kingdom’s aspirations to host Expo 2030, emphasizing its goal of uniting everyone under a shared heritage, and nurturing dreams of a brighter future.