Saudi Arabia will host this year’s UNWTO World Tourism Day (WTD) in Riyadh – four years after it first opened to global tourists in 2019 – from September 27 to 28.
WTD 2023 will feature a series of engaging sessions, panel discussions, and workshops led by renowned sector experts and government leaders. Event participants will also attend a gala dinner in Riyadh’s UNESCO Heritage site, Diriyah, to celebrate World Tourism Day and its global significance.
Global ministers, industry leaders and experts will highlight the power of tourism and explore avenues for collaboration to foster growth of the sector, placing people, the planet and prosperity front and centre of proceedings.
Under the theme of Tourism and Green Investments, WTD 2023 will examine the role of investment in people and planet to secure livelihoods and foster mutual understanding, while exploring opportunities to extend the reach of the industry’s economic and social impact to more people around the world, safeguarding prosperity for all.
As one of the biggest economic drivers of the global economy, the global tourism sector is responsible for a wealth of business and employment opportunities, while also playing a key role in bridging cultures, connecting people and enhancing mutual understanding. Reflective of the sector’s potential as a key driver for change, three themes will guide proceedings of the event: mutual understanding, economic sustainability, and social prosperity.
Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, said: “We have a historic opportunity to chart a new course for the global tourism sector, centred 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… we look forward to welcoming tourism leaders from the public and private sectors to Riyadh.”
UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili added: “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.”