Minister Baltova held an online meeting with the Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mr. Ahmed Al-Khateeb

27 August 2021

The Minister of Tourism Stella Baltova held an online meeting with the Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mr. Ahmed Al-Khateeb. The main focus of the conversation was the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on the tourism sector and the role of the World Tourism Organization.

“The summer tourist season in Bulgaria in 2021 is significantly better than last year, as from some tourist markets we report an increase of over 200% in arrivals,” said Minister Baltova. Bulgaria is a safe and secure destination with an excellent tourist product. However, she pointed out that the situation is very dynamic and the uncertainty before the sector remains.

Minister Al-Khateeb pointed out that since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 60 million people in the field of tourism have lost their jobs. Although countries such as France, Greece, Saudi Arabia and Bulgaria are regaining their position in the global tourism market, many other countries are still experiencing serious difficulties in overcoming the negative effects of the pandemic on the sector. Minister Al-Khateeb noted that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO) should play a key role in this regard. In this regard, it was shared that Saudi Arabia plans to present a development program for the organization, which includes the investment of significant financial resources by the Kingdom in the WTO. Saudi Arabia’s program will be presented and put to the vote at the next meeting of the WTO General Assembly, which will be held in Marrakesh in December 2021.

Minister Baltova welcomed the initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and stressed that the WTO is an extremely important international organization for tourism and that the initiative of Saudi Arabia is extremely ambitious and will expect to receive more information about the Kingdom’s plans for WTO development.

Both parties reaffirmed their intentions to continue their fruitful cooperation.

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