Arab Tourism Day promoting ‘digital future’ for region

Head of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, speaks during an interview with AFP at the commission’s headquarters in Riyadh, on December 18, 2017.
Saudi Arabia will begin issuing tourist visas in the first quarter of 2018, the kingdom’s top tourism official Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdelaziz, said in an interview with AFP. / AFP PHOTO / FAYEZ NURELDINE

JEDDAH (RAHNUMA) The Arab Tourism Organization has called on the Arab world to celebrate Arab Tourism Day on Feb. 25 under the slogan “Digital Transformation towards Safe Arab Tourism.”

The organization said that the Arab tourism industry of the future will be judged on the quantity of tourists, but also on the quality of services and technological development.

Tourism services must be updated according to health procedures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization said, adding that non-contact travel from arrival to departure should be a priority for the sector.

The organization said that digital transformation is an important goal that requires the Arab world to deliver the return of safe tourism.

It cited the latest statistics by the World Economic Forum in Davos that predicted that digital transformation in aviation, travel and tourism will generate an added value for the tourism sector of $305 billion during the period from 2019 to 2025.
The transformation will also transfer $100 billion from traditional sectors to new competitors and generate indirect benefits of $700 billion by reducing environmental impacts, enhancing safety, security and savings on costs and time for tourists.
The Arab Tourism Organization said that the tourism sector is also expected to undergo a selective transition of existing jobs. However, job losses in the transition are being offset by the creation of new positions based on the skills of the new digital age within and outside the travel system, the organization added.
The new era of Arab tourism will take place at the government level and in the private sector through investors and businesses. Global spending on information technology in relation to digital transformation is expected to reach $7.5 trillion in the future
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