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Oman takes part in 23rd Session of UNWTO General

Sep 11, 2019


Oman takes part in 23rd Session of UNWTO General Assembly 
Innovation, education, employment and medical tourism significantly highlighted 

al Mahrazi: economic growth in tourism sector cannot be claimed without having some sort of resources sustainability
The Sultanate of Oman, represented by the delegate of the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) headed by HE Ahmad bin Nasser al Mahrazi, Minister of Tourism, participated at the 23rd Session of the United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly that kicked off today (September 11th ,2019) at Saint Petersburg, Russia.  
HE al Mahrazi said that Oman`s participation at the meetings of the 23rd session of the General Assembly of UNWTO aims at solidifying the bilateral relations at tourism sector and expressing Oman’s readiness to support the international efforts excreted for developing tourism. 
“The current session attaches great attention to the role and significance of innovation in achieving sustainable development in tourism through reducing costs, increasing revenues, creating new jobs, and the optimal use of resources. As it is known that achieving economic growth in tourism sector cannot be claimed without having some sort of resources sustainability which has been our focus in Oman through the Sultanate`s Tourism Strategy”, HE al Mahrazi said.        
The Secretary General of UNWTO Zurab Pololikashvili briefed the attendees on the latest activates of the organization and the efforts for establishing an on-line academy for innovation. He expressed his support to the recommendations the UNWTO made on urban tourism which will be submitted to the General Assembly for approval. The   Secretary General of UNWTO encouraged the members to support The Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (SF-MST) and the “UNWTO Agenda for Africa 2030”.    
Zurab Pololikashvili`s report approached the current attitudes in the international tourism; highlighting that the international tourism, backed by a relatively strong global economy, advanced tech, affordable travel costs, and easier visa procedures, made a historical record growth in 2018. 
According to the report, the international arrivals mad a 6% growth to 1.4 people which is a record that has been achieved two years earlier of the expected date. Furthermore, the volume of exports from international tourism amounted to 1.7 m USD for the fourth year in row to represent a growth rate of 4%.  Based on the UNWTO Tourism Confidence Index, the international arrivals are expected to grow by 3-4% by the end of 2019. 
The report asserts on the need for more investments to be pumped into tourism sector to match steadily increase in demand and optimize the economic opportunities offered by tourism. The report pointed out that the governments all over the world have a good opportunity to transform investment environment into more promising one to attract more investments that fit with the boarder strategies of tourism. It is expected that the unfolding social and economic changes such as the new business lines, demographic changes and digitization will have their impacts on changing the attitudes of tourists as more new tourism options and preferences such as health and medical tourism, multi-generation groups travel and travel for change will dominate.  These changes have made adaptation from the part of destinations and travel offices and companies is a must.   
from 9th to 13th September 2019, the 23rd session of the of the General Assembly of UNWTO has an extended program that covers the 41st UNWTO Affiliate Members Plenary Session, the meetings of the Regional Commission for Africa, the Committee on Tourism and Sustainability, and the Committee on Tourism and Competitiveness, Associate Members Meeting- Expoforum, the meeting of the Committee for Review of Application for Affiliate Membership, High Level Forum on Medical and Health Tourism, 1st Plenary Session, Credentials Committee, 2nd Plenary Session, Ministerial debate on “Education and Employment in Tourism”, 3rd Plenary Session, Affiliate Members Board, High Level Summit on Innovation and Sustainable Development in Tourism, 111th Session of the Executive Council, and Program and Budgeting Committee meeting.    
The session of the General Assembly of UNWTO which is held every two years is a good opportunity for all stakeholders from the public and private sectors all over the world to discuss and share knowledge on the mechanisms and methods of enhancing and optimizing tourism as a big contributor to the sustainable development in local communities. (Ends)