Saudi Arabia announces 250,000 jobs for Riyadh Expo 2030

In anticipation of hosting the 2030 World Expo in Riyadh, the Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Al Khateeb, unveiled intentions to generate 250,000 jobs. This initiative aligns with the broader objective of establishing one million fresh employment opportunities within the tourism sector by the year 2030.

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National Tourism Strategy and Economic Impact

Al Khateeb showcased the National Tourism Strategy, launched in 2019, in a session on "Accelerated Progress in the Labour Market" at the Global Labour Market Conference. This strategic initiative aims to elevate the tourism sector's contribution to the GDP from 3% to an ambitious 10% by 2030. To accommodate the substantial growth envisioned, an additional one million jobs need to be generated within the industry.

Kingdom's Leadership Roles

Minister Al Khateeb underscored Saudi Arabia's role as the chair of the Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Hosting the forthcoming General Assembly, the Kingdom is committed to three key priorities: ensuring sustainability for the planet and the environment, providing suitable jobs for human beings, and fostering tourism growth and travel services.

Global Labour Market Challenges

Discussing global labour market dynamics, Al Khateeb acknowledged the challenges posed by a projected world population of 8.5 billion by 2030. He emphasised the digitization process affecting various services, including trade and manufacturing, which has impacted the labour market. Despite the setback caused by the pandemic, he noted a positive recovery trend in the tourism sector.

Resilience of the Tourism Sector

Before the pandemic struck in 2019, Al Khateeb noted that the travel and tourism industry supported 330 million jobs worldwide, accounting for 10% of the labour force. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the World Travel and Tourism Council report that although airlines and hotels around the world experienced large job losses, there has been a positive trend, with numbers going back to pre-pandemic levels.

Human Components of Tourism

The minister highlighted the significance of human capital in the tourism industry, underscoring its crucial role in promoting cultural exchange on an international scale. Given that the sector accounts for a substantial share of global job opportunities, preserving a people-centric approach is vital for ensuring enduring success.

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