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World Tourism Day 2023: Saudi’s Green Vision

World Tourism Day 2023As the sun set over Riyadh, the spirit of the 43rd World Tourism Day shone brighter than ever. The theme of “Tourism and Green Investments” was not merely a slogan, but a harmonious symphony that drew global visionaries, leaders, and innovators to Saudi Arabia’s vibrant core.


A Tapestry of Dreams, Commitments, and Global Voices

World Tourism Day 2023

From enlightening exchanges to the celebratory melding of cultures, the world was treated to a tapestry of dreams and commitments. The timeless heritage of Diriyah [Saudi’s UNESCO Heritage CIty] met the dynamic pulse of contemporary Riyadh, charting a course towards a harmonious and green tomorrow.World Tourism Day 2023

Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, Saudi Arabia, expressed his privilege and honor in hosting the World Tourism Day in Riyadh. He emphasized on creating new horizons for tourism and advancing together as one global destination. He celebrated the achievements in coming back strongly from a challenging pandemic and expressed confidence in a future where large and smaller countries can work together to achieve amazing things.

World Tourism Day 2023

Natalia Bayona, Executive Director of the World Tourism Organization [UNWTO], stressed on the need to innovate on investment frameworks. She emphasized on investing in people through education, planet through sustainability, and prosperity through innovation and technology.World Tourism Day 2023


Nika Gilauri, CEO, Reformatics, Former PM of Georgia, highlighted tourism’s acceleration effect. He expressed that the more you visit places, the more you want to see new places.World Tourism Day 2023

Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture & Tourism, Turkey, stated that if you want to be a leader country in tourism sector, you must do everything correctly. He acknowledged Covid as the biggest crisis for the sector in last 3 years but also recognized it as an opportunity to solve big problems of the sector.World Tourism Day 2023

Julia Simpson, CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council [WTTC] appreciated the Kingdom’s investment in counting the actual impact on environment both social and greenhouse gas emissions from travel and tourism.World Tourism Day 2023

World Tourism Day 2023She predicted growth in travel and tourism over the next decade at around 5% a year globally, that is twice as fast as the wider economy which is predicted to grow at 2.6. She predicted, by the end of this year tourism globally will be worth 9. 5 trillion us dollars, i.e., if this sector was a country that would make it the third largest in the worldWorld Tourism Day 2023


Gloria Guevara, Chief Special Advisor, Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, emphasized on the crucial need for governments to work together and make tourism a priority.World Tourism Day 2023


Investing in People

Despite tourism’s outreach, 50% of youth in emerging destinations remain distanced due to lack of training resources or opportunities. It’s time to transcend traditional confines of education and evolve beyond mere realms of hotel management.World Tourism Day 2023

Investing in Planet

The green transition isn’t just a catchphrase anymore. The overwhelming surge in global hotel investments now favoring eco-friendly architectures signals a new dawn. Our planet is precious, and the tourism sector is echoing its commitment to save it.World Tourism Day 2023

Investing in Prosperity

Innovation and digital strides are reshaping tourism, especially in our post-pandemic world. With digital redefining experiences, it’s evident technology will be the compass guiding tourism’s future.World Tourism Day 2023

Unveiling New Initiatives

A pivotal movement from Riyadh was the unveiling of the Tourism Open Minds initiative. In a world where travel often treads familiar paths, such initiatives challenge scopes, encouraging explorers to venture beyond and unveil the gems of underexplored territories.World Tourism Day 2023

Zurab Polokashvili stated that the celebration showcased the diversity of our sector but also showed how strongly we are united around a common theme – tourism and green investments. He emphasized on exploring the biggest challenges and opportunities to do more and to do better. He also highlighted the importance of cooperation and friendship.World Tourism Day 2023

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO & Board Member, Saudi Tourism Authority [STA] expressed that tourists travel with their hearts in their hands looking for what is good, different, and inspiring. He emphasized on the power of tourism to create conversations not of institutions but conversations of people and hearts. He also highlighted the importance of building bridges through tourism.World Tourism Day 2023



This year’s meetings and discussions addressed the challenges and opportunities for the industry under the organization’s core themes of people, planet, and prosperity. Saudi Arabia is chairing the organization’s executive council this year and Riyadh is home to its first regional office in Middle East which makes the Kingdom an important ambassador of Tourism.World Tourism Day 2023

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