The high-profile UNWTO Ministerial Forum will once again take place at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015. The event will also once again play host to ministers of tourism from the MENA region.
Participants include ministers from UAE, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco looking to debate ways to advance intra-regional tourism and seize growing opportunities emerging for increased co-operation. The forum will open with an address by UNWTO secretary-general, Taleb Rifai.
HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities and HH Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, minister of culture, youth and social development and chairman of the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities, will deliver national insight from a Saudi Arabia and UAE perspective.
“In the two years since the last UNWTO Forum, the region has undergone yet another shift in tourism demand and opportunity; has weathered the storms of political unrest and economic pressures; and made further significant strides in giving the green light to multi-million dollar infrastructure projects that are designed to fulfil a long-term sustainable tourism vision,” said Simon Press, senior exhibition director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The agenda will cover issues pertinent to successful development of tourism economies across the region, including effective development and marketing of tourism products, promotion of travel facilitation and improved connectivity and importance of intra-regional investment into infrastructure, facilities and services.
Participating ministers include HE Nayef H Al-Fayez, Minister Of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan; HE Lahcen Haddad, minister of tourism, Morocco; HE Michel Pharaon, minister of tourism, Lebanon; and HE Mohammed K Al Muhairi, director general, National Council of Tourism and Antiquities, UAE.
Representing the private sector are Antoine Medawar, vice-president MENA region, Amadeus; Amine Moukarzel, president, Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts MENA; Hussein Dabbas, regional vice president for the Middle East and North Africa, International Air Transport Association (IATA); and Gerald Lawless, president and CEO, Jumeirah Group.