GCC ministers meet in Kuwait to discuss boosting tourism sector

Published October 14th, 2014 - 12:15 GMT

Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) President Prince Sultan bin Salman will lead the Kingdom’s delegation to the first constituent meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) tourism ministers to be held in Kuwait on Tuesday.

An SCTA official said Monday that the first meeting of the ministers of tourism from GCC countries will discuss a number of key issues related to promoting tourism and heritage programs in the Gulf region. 

The meeting is also expected to discuss topics such as the issue of a common tourist visa for the GCC, significance of the private participation in the tourism sector and setting up of a Gulf federation for handicrafts.

Notably, Prince Sultan has initiated the idea of upgrading the GCC Tourism Cooperation Committee to the ministerial level and his participation in the meeting reflects his commitment to activate SCTA’s role for the cooperation among the GCC countries in the tourism sector.

The ministerial meeting marks the beginning of a unified tourism action plan to strengthen cooperation among the GCC countries to spur growth in regional tourism.

“The meeting will pave the way for enhancing tourism cooperation among GCC countries to better serve the people by developing the regional tourism sectors comprehensively,” the official said.

He also said that during the meeting the ministers will brainstorm ways and means to further upgrade tourism facilities in the region to international levels to take regional tourism to a new high.

A preparatory meeting of the undersecretaries for tourism affairs from GCC countries have already discussed the framing of unified domestic regulations and reviewed the report of the secretariat on the concerted efforts made by the Council of Tourism Cooperation over the past few years to promote joint tourism in the region.

Aside from religious tourism in the Kingdom, the domestic tourism sector is witnessing a quantum leap with the SCTA recording 5.8 million tourist trips during the current summer.

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