Tourism and economic growth under the spotlight at UNWTO & Arabian Travel Market Ministerial Forum 2017

Over 20 Ministers and industry leaders will gather at the Ministerial Forum to discuss how tourism can play a role in the future of the MENA region.

Visitors to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will total 195 million by 2030, growing at a rate higher than the world average, according to gures by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

This translates into 195 million international tourists by 2030, meaning between 25 million and 50 million new jobs will be required in the region over the next decade.

The rapid development of the sector will form part of the discussion at the UNWTO & ATM Ministerial Forum at the Arabian Travel Market, taking place on April 24 in the Dubai World Trade Centre, United Arab Emirates. The Forum, an of cial event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 returns to ATM this year, with a particular focus on the contribution of tourism to sustainable economic growth and economic diversification of the MENA region.

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, says the Middle East has experienced huge changes since the UNWTO Ministers Forum was last held at ATM back in 2015: “This year will re ect the pace and level of that development, uniting more than 20 ministers with industry leaders in the MENA region to consider methods of capitalising on tourism growth and building a sustainable ecosystem for the sector to unlock its potential within each country’s National Agenda. Specific areas of focus will include GDP growth and economic diversification, innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity, job creation, human capital and infrastructure development, investment and export promotion.”